Development of a single tube multiplex real-time PCR to detect the most clinically relevant Mucormycetes species

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Mucormycetes infections are very difficult to treat and a delay in diagnosis could be fatal for the outcome of the patient. A molecular diagnostic technique based on Real Time PCR was developed for the simultaneous detection of Rhizopus oryzae, Rhizopus microsporus and the genus Mucor spp. in both culture and clinical samples. The methodology used was Molecular beacon species-specific probes with an internal control. This multiplex real-time PCR (MRT-PCR) was tested in 22 cultured strains and 12 clinical samples from patients suffering from a proven mucormycosis. Results showed 100% specificity and a detection limit of 1 fg of DNA per microlitre of sample. The sensitivity was 100% for clinical cultured strains and for clinical samples containing species detected by the PCR assay. Other mucormycetes species were not detected in clinical samples. This technique can be useful for clinical diagnosis and further studies are warranted.

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