Molecular polymerase chain reaction diagnosis of pulmonary mucormycosis caused by Cunninghamella bertholletiae

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ObjectiveMucormycosis is an uncommon but frequently fatal infection caused by strains of mucorales in immunocompromised hosts. In this study, we report a case of pulmonary mucormycosis associated with acute lymphocytic leukaemia caused by Cunninghamella bertholletiae, a rare pathogen.MethodologyRetrospective analysis of the stored serum, sputum, and necropsy lung tissue samples from this patient, enabled subspecies identification by means of panfungal polymerase chain reaction (PCR), direct DNA sequencing of the PCR products, and homology search with nucleotide basic local alignment search tool.ResultsThe development of a reliable diagnostic blood test for angio-invasive fungal infections such as mucormycosis is desirable, because the sensitivity of culture for these fungi is extremely low.ConclusionPanfungal PCR on serial serum samples might be useful for the diagnosis of pulmonary mucormycosis.

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