The incidence of invasive fungal infections has increased dramatically in recent decades, especially among immunocompromised patients. However, the diagnosis of these infections in a timely fashion is often very difficult. Conventional microbiologic and histopathologic approaches generally are neither sensitive nor specific, and they often do not detect invasive fungal infection until late in the course of disease. Since early diagnosis may guide appropriate treatment and prevent mortality, there has been considerable interest in developing nonculture approaches to diagnosing fungal infections. These approaches include detection of specific host immune responses to fungal antigens, detection of specific macromolecular antigens using immunologic reagents, amplification and detection of specific fungal nucleic acid sequences, and detection and quantitation of specific fungal metabolite products. This work reviews the current status and recent developments as well as problems in the design of nonculture diagnostic methods for invasive fungal infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases