Comparison between polymerase chain reaction and fungal culture for the detection of fungi in patients with chronic sinusitis and normal controls

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ConclusionPCR using panfungal gene primers is a more sensitive method for fungus detection than fungus culture, both in patients with chronic sinusitis and in normal controls. The presence of fungi alone, however, was insufficient to implicate them as pathogens in chronic sinusitis.ObjectivePrevious findings have suggested that polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods are more sensitive and reliable than conventional culture methods for the detection of fungal DNA. We therefore compared these methods in 82 patients with chronic sinusitis and 40 normal controls.Material and methodsThe noses of the subjects were irrigated with sterile saline, and the samples collected. The sediment from each irrigation was used for fungus culture and PCR analysis.ResultsPCR analysis using panfungal gene primers showed that 76/82 (92.5%) patients with chronic sinusitis and 39/40 (97.5%) normal controls were positive. In contrast, fungus cultures were positive in 19/82 (23.2%) patients with chronic sinusitis and 12/40 (30.0%) normal controls. We observed no significant between-group differences in the prevalence of fungus or in the fungal species detected.

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