Rapid identification of fungi in culture-negative clinical blood and respiratory samples by DNA sequence analyses

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Abstract

Background: Clinical diagnoses of fungal infections often rely upon culture techniques followed by microscopic examination of positive cultures and histopathological specimens. Culturing of microorganisms is prone to false negatives, while microscopy methods can be complicated by atypical phenotypes and organisms that are morphologically indistinguishable in tissues. Delays in diagnoses (or the lack thereof ) and inaccurate identification of infectious organisms contribute to increased morbidity and mortality in patients. Methods: Two-hundred randomized, heterogeneous patient blood and respiratory samples that were culture-negative were tested using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of internal transcribed spacer regions of ribosomal RNA genes utilizing panfungal primers. Amplicons were sequenced, subjected to sequence similarity searches, and compared using phylogenetic analyses. Results: Thirteen fungal sequences were detected in three whole-blood samples and nine respiratory samples. Bioinformatic analyses were performed which indicated the presence of multiple pathogens and potential pathogens. Conclusions: The results from this pilot study demonstrate the utility of PCR assays and sequence analyses in clinical tests for fungi to facilitate rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatments to deal with the false negatives from culture results.

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Sidiq, F., Hoostal, M., & Rogers, S. O. (2016). Rapid identification of fungi in culture-negative clinical blood and respiratory samples by DNA sequence analyses. BMC Research Notes, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-016-2097-0

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