Polyphasic identification of three new species in Alternaria section Infectoriae causing human cutaneous infection

Isabel Iturrieta-González, Isabel Pujol, Simona Iftimie, Dania García, Vanesa Morente, Rosana Queralt, Marcela Guevara-Suarez, Ana Alastruey-Izquierdo, Frederic Ballester, Margarita Hernández-Restrepo, Josepa Gené

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Background Cutaneous phaeohyphomycosis is an emerging disease in immunocompromised patients, being Alternaria one of the most common genera reported as a causative agent. Species identification is not carried out mainly due to the complexity of the genus. Analysis of the ITS barcode has become standard for fungal identification, but in Alternaria it is only able to discriminate among species-groups or sections. Methods We present three cases of cutaneous infection caused by Alternaria isolates morphologically identified as belonging to section Infectoriae. They have been morphologically characterised and phylogenetically delineated with five molecular markers (ITS, ATPase, gapdh, rpb2 and tef1). Results Mycotic infections have been diagnosed by repeated cultures and histopathological examination in two of the cases. The polyphasic approach has allowed to delineate three new species of Alternaria section Infectoriae, that is A anthropophila, A atrobrunnea and A guarroi. ATPase has been the only locus able to discriminate most of the species (29 out of 31) currently sequenced in this section, including A infectoria the commonest reported species causing alternariosis. Susceptibility test showed different antifungal patterns for the three species, although terbinafine was the most active in vitro drug against these fungi. Conclusions The ATPase gene is recommended as an alternative barcode locus to identify Alternaria clinical isolates in section Infectoriae. Our results reinforce the relevance of identification of Alternaria isolates at the species level and the necessity to carry out antifungal susceptibility testing to determine the most adequate drug for treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2020


  • Alternaria infectoria
  • alternariosis
  • antifungal susceptibility
  • immunocompromised patients
  • molecular identification
  • opportunistic infections
  • Pleosporaceae
  • taxonomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Polyphasic identification of three new species in Alternaria section Infectoriae causing human cutaneous infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this