marneffei maintains a close association with rodent species, particularly bamboo rats.
infection in bamboo rats is assumed to lend a selective benefit by creating a nutrient-rich patch for sporulation and widespread aerosol-dispersal after the eventual death of the host (6).
To this end, we ascertained the sylvatic prevalence of infection by trapping hoary bamboo rats (Rhizomys pruinosis) from across a region to which the infection is endemic, Guangxi Province in southern China, a region in which the observed case-rate for human penicilliosis marneffei is rapidly increasing (1,2).
These loci (PM5, PM6, PM19, PM22, and PM23) were selected because of their high discriminatory power within a previously genotyped cohort of isolates obtained from humans and bamboo rats in Thailand (10); the loci vary in the length of the microsatellite-containing repeat region.
Although the bamboo rats in question were trapped in Hezhou, the human isolate was recovered from Hechi, 355 km distant; this observation could indicate either that the patient traveled to and acquired infection in the environs of Hezhou, or infectious P.
008), which suggests that humans and bamboo rats in Guangxi are not infected by P.
To test whether this component of variation between humans and bamboo rats was related to spatial factors, we tested the extent of correlation between geographic distance and genetic distance across 3 components of P.
That no MTs were shared by bamboo rats between trapping sites is strong evidence that P.
The body of current evidence suggests that bamboo rats play a key role in the life cycle of P.
marneffei isolates from bamboo rats in China were the same as, or different from, those infecting humans across this region.
Live wildlife in markets in Guangzhou, China, trade in masked palm civets, ferret badgers, barking deer, wild boars, hedgehogs, foxes, squirrels, bamboo rats
, gerbils, various species of snakes, and endangered leopard cats, along with domestic dogs, cats, and rabbits (2).