The diversity in virulence of different strains was studied in an experimental murine model of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) and the results were correlated with possession of a putative molecular marker of virulence. Seven strains from different patients with non-invasive or invasive aspergillosis and four environmental strains were typed by PCR with specific primers and scored as positive or negative, according to whether or not a 0.95-kb DNA fragment was amplified. Immunosuppressed mice were inoculated intranasally with conidia from these different strains. The mortality curves revealed differences in virulence between the strains. The environmental strains produced a weaker infection than the strains from patients and the 0.95-kb-positive patient strains caused significantly higher mortality rates in mice than the 0.95-kb-negative patient strains. These findings support the hypothesis that certain isolates of are more virulent than others and that their virulence appears to be associated with the 0.95-kb molecular marker.


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