Genomic diversity and population differentiation of Histoplasma spp. in the American continent
Histoplasmosis is one of the most prevalent fungal infections (500,000 infections estimated per year) and is one of the most common pulmonary diseases in the world. The prevalence of histoplasmosis varies greatly by continent, being rare in Europe and Oceania, moderately common in Africa and Southeast Asia, and frequent in the Americas. In recent studies, Teixeira et al. (2016) proposed at least 17 cryptic phylogenetic species causing histoplasmosis worldwide with strong geographical bias. Based on phylogenomic concordance, Sepúlveda et al. (2017) contributed to a further refinement of the clustering of Histoplasma isolates, reclassifying 4 Histoplasma strains into 4 species as follows: NAm 1 (H. mississippiense), NAm2 (H. ohiense), LAm A (H. suramericanum), Panama (H. capsulatum sensu stricto). However, only a low number of taxa were genotyped using fully sequenced genomes. As part of the global consortium for Histoplasma whole-genome typing project, we used Illumina short-read sequencing to evaluate DNA polymorphisms, phylogenomic and population distribution of over 200 strains from the American continent. We investigated the effects of the Ohio and Mississippi Valleys on the Histoplasma species distribution and admixture in North America. Moreover, a high genomic variation and complex population structure was observed in isolates retrieved from countries nested within the Guyana Shield and Amazon basin.