Utility of DNA Sequencing for Direct Identification of Invasive Fungi From Fresh and Formalin-Fixed Specimens

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Abstract

Objectives:

To describe and discuss the utility and potential pitfalls of ribosomal RNA locus sequencing for direct identification of invasive fungi from fresh and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens.

Methods:

DNA was extracted from fresh and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue and subjected to real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting ITS2 and D2 regions of fungal ribosomal RNA locus. Cycle sequencing was performed on PCR products, and the identity of sequences was determined using a public database.

Results:

Four clinical cases of invasive fungal infection are presented to illustrate the utility of DNA sequencing for determining etiology when microbiological culture is negative, for shortening the time to identification of slow-growing fungi, for guiding antifungal therapy, and for shedding light on the pathogenesis of disseminated fungal infection.

Conclusions:

Fungal ribosomal RNA locus sequencing from fresh or formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens is a powerful tool for rapid and accurate diagnosis of patients with culture-negative or uncultured invasive mycosis.

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