Chapter 35 : Molecular Detection and Identification of Fungal Pathogens

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Fungi are a diverse group of eukaryotic organisms, most of which are found as saprophytes in soil and on decomposing organic material. Of the more than 100,000 fungal species, fewer than 500 have been implicated in human disease. Most fungi are opportunistic pathogens that only cause disease in (severely) immunocompromised patients. Many fungal diseases have a worldwide distribution, but some are restricted to specific geographical regions (e.g., endemic mycoses). Fungi cause a broad spectrum of diseases, ranging from superficial mycoses (infection of skin, hair, nails, and/or mucosal membranes), to allergic diseases, to life-threatening invasive diseases. Most dermatophytes are not able to survive as free-living saprophytes and are obligate pathogens of animals and humans that cause contagious infections. Millions of individuals worldwide are affected by superficial mycoses, mainly dermatophytoses and candidiasis (1, 2). An increase of invasive infections has been observed over the past decades due to the ever-increasing size of the population at risk for these infections (3) as well as the availability of better diagnostics.

Citation: Lagrou K, Maertens J, Hayette M. 2016. Molecular Detection and Identification of Fungal Pathogens, p 489-500. In Persing D, Tenover F, Hayden R, Ieven M, Miller M, Nolte F, Tang Y, van Belkum A (ed), Molecular Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819071.ch35
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Image of FIGURE 1

Schematic consensus representation of the rDNA gene complex for fungal genomes with the most frequently used internally transcribed spacer (ITS)–targeted primers (arrows). SSU, small subunit; LSU, large subunit.

Citation: Lagrou K, Maertens J, Hayette M. 2016. Molecular Detection and Identification of Fungal Pathogens, p 489-500. In Persing D, Tenover F, Hayden R, Ieven M, Miller M, Nolte F, Tang Y, van Belkum A (ed), Molecular Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819071.ch35
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The most currently used primers targeting the ITS region of the fungal rDNA genes complex

Citation: Lagrou K, Maertens J, Hayette M. 2016. Molecular Detection and Identification of Fungal Pathogens, p 489-500. In Persing D, Tenover F, Hayden R, Ieven M, Miller M, Nolte F, Tang Y, van Belkum A (ed), Molecular Microbiology. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819071.ch35

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