Laboratorial diagnosis of paracoccidioidomycosis and new insights for the future of fungal diagnosis.

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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is the most prevalent mycosis in Latin-America. As for other mycosis, its importance of has been largely underestimated, partially due to the limited geographical distribution of the etiologic fungal agent (Paracoccidioides brasiliensis). However, the advent of AIDS and other immune suppressing conditions is creating an emergent need for improved diagnostic tests envisaging simpler, cheaper, faster and more sensitive and accurate detection of pathogenic fungi, especially those causing systemic and opportunistic diseases. Routine laboratorial diagnosis of PCM disease relies mainly on direct observation of the fungus. However, culture growing is slow and, too often, definite diagnosis can only be obtained at later growing stages. Immunodiagnosis is also widely employed, although usually cumbersome and complex. Enzyme-based immunoassays are more amenable to automation for high-throughput testing, but may lead to cross-reactivity with other fungi. Plus, molecular diagnosis relying on polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) and nucleic-acid hybridization, although still at early stages of application to routine diagnosis of P. brasiliensis, has triggered the development of techniques for its improved specific detection, thus contributing for epidemiological studies as well. In the future, microarrays and newer biosensing technologies, coupled to new bionanotechnological tools, will certainly improve diagnosis of PCM and other mycosis through very specific and sensitive pathogen biomolecular detection.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)2254-64
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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