, Volume 184, Issue 1, pp 53–63 | Cite as

Molecular Identification and Antifungal Susceptibility of Clinical Isolates of Sporothrix schenckii Complex in Medellin, Colombia

  • S. V. Flórez-Muñoz
  • J. F. Alzate
  • A. C. Mesa-ArangoEmail author
Original Paper



Sporotrichosis is a subcutaneous mycosis that affects humans and other animals. Infection prevails in tropical and subtropical countries. Until a few years ago, it was considered that two varieties of Sporothrix schenckii caused this mycosis, but by applying molecular taxonomic markers, it has been demonstrated that there are several cryptic species within S. schenckii complex which varies in susceptibility, virulence, and geographic distribution.


This study aimed to identify the clinical isolates of Sporothrix spp. from patients with sporotrichosis in Medellin, Colombia, using two markers and to evaluate the in vitro susceptibility to itraconazole.


Thirty-four clinical isolates of Sporothrix spp. from Colombia, three from Mexico, and one from Guatemala were identified through sequencing of the noncoding region ITS-1 + 5.8SDNAr + ITS-2 and of the fragment containing exons 3 and 4 of the β-tubulin gene. Clinical isolate sequences were compared with GenBank reference sequences using the BLASTN tool, and then, phylogenetic analysis was performed. Besides, the in vitro susceptibility to itraconazole was evaluated by determining the minimum inhibitory concentrations according to the CLSI M38-A2 method.


Clinical isolates were identified by morphology as Sporothrix spp. Using the molecular markers, ITS and β-tubulin, isolates were identified as S. schenckii sensu stricto (25) and Sporothrix globosa (13). Susceptibility to itraconazole was variable among clinical isolates.


This is the first scientific publication that identifies species that cause sporotrichosis in Colombia, along with the antifungal susceptibility to itraconazole.


Sporothrix schenckii complex Internal transcribed spacer - ITS Taxonomy β-tubulin Antifungal susceptibility Itraconazole 



Financial support for this work was provided by FPIT of Banco de la República, Colombia Grant No 3756 and CODI-UDEA 2604. Also, we thank Dr. Concepcion Toriello for the kind gift of some clinical isolates. We also thank the professors and laboratory assistants, mainly to Marleny Gallego, who contributed to the collection of the clinical isolates.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11046_2018_310_MOESM1_ESM.png (91 kb)
Polymorphism in the nucleotide position 333 (asterisk) within ITS-2 sequences of clinical isolates identified as S. schenckii sensu stricto. Thymine in the clinical isolates sequences is highlighted in red and the adenine in the reference strains in green (PNG 90 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de Investigación Dermatológica, Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Grupo de Parasitología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellínColombia
  3. 3.Centro Nacional de Secuenciación Genómica, CNSG, Sede de Investigación Universitaria-SIUUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellínColombia

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