Diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis in immunocompromised patients by seminested PCR assay of tissue samples

  • V. RickertsEmail author
  • G. Just-Nübling
  • F. Konrad
  • J. Kern
  • E. Lambrecht
  • A. Böhme
  • V. Jacobi
  • R. Bialek


Aspergillosis and mucormycosis are the most common mold infections in patients with hematological malignancies. Infections caused by species of the genus Aspergillus and the order Mucorales require different antifungal treatments depending on the in vitro susceptibility of the causative strain. Cultures from biopsy specimens frequently do not grow fungal pathogens, even from histopathologically proven cases of invasive fungal infection. Two seminested PCR assays were evaluated by amplifying DNA of zygomycetes and Aspergillus spp. from organ biopsies of 21 immunocompromised patients. The PCR assays correctly identified five cases of invasive aspergillosis and six cases of mucormycosis. They showed evidence of double mold infection in two cases. Both assays were negative in five negative controls and in two patients with yeast infections. Sequencing of the PCR products was in accordance with culture results in all culture-positive cases. In six patients without positive cultures but with positive histopathology, sequencing suggested a causative organism. Detection of fungal DNA from biopsy specimens allows rapid identification of the causative organism of invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis. The use of these PCR assays may allow guided antifungal treatment in patients with invasive mold infections.


Aspergillosis Zygomycosis Histopathology PCR 



The data presented here are part of the doctoral thesis of Franziska Konrad.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Rickerts
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Just-Nübling
    • 1
  • F. Konrad
    • 2
  • J. Kern
    • 2
  • E. Lambrecht
    • 3
  • A. Böhme
    • 4
  • V. Jacobi
    • 2
  • R. Bialek
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Med.Klinik II/InfektiologieKlinikum der J.W. Goethe UniversitätFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Institut für TropenmedizinUniversitätsklinikum TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Institut für PathologieKlinikum der J.W. Goethe Universität FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  4. 4.Med. Klinik II/HämatologieKlinikum der J.W. Goethe UniversitätFrankfurtGermany
  5. 5.Institut für RadiologieKlinikum der J.W. Goethe UniversitätFrankfurtGermany

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