Molecular detection of Aspergillus species (Aspergillus fumigatus, A. niger, A. flavus) is used as a rapid and reliable way of detecting Aspergillus species from clinical specimens.
Invasive aspergillosis is a life-threatening condition that afflicts immunosuppressed patients, such as those undergoing hematopoietic cell transplantation. Invasive aspergillosis if not diagnosed early has a high mortality.
Conventional microbiological techniques for the diagnosis of aspergillosis do not have much clinical sensitivity and become positive with a long delay. Delays in diagnosis by conventional techniques, such as cultures and biopsies, have led to the widespread use of empirical therapy in the management of patients with aspergillosis.
The use of PCR for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis can reduce the time needed to diagnose the disease, reduce the use of empirical therapy and lead to more effective treatment of invasive aspergillosis.
The fungus Aspergillus belongs to the Ascomycetes group. These organisms develop branched mycelia and spread through the highly resistant spores released by the mycelia. About 20 species of Aspergillus are pathogenic to humans as opportunistic infectious agents. The most common pathogen of the genus Aspergillus is Aspergillus fumigatus, which is often found in hay, stored cereals, degraded plants, and bird feces. In general, infections with Aspergillus species are transmitted by airborne fungi. Due to the presence of Aspergillus species everywhere in the environment, it is difficult to distinguish contaminations from serious infections.