Laboratory Diagnosis and Characterization of Fungal Disease in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF): A Survey of Current UK Practice in a Cohort of Clinical Microbiology Laboratories

Abstract

There is much uncertainty as to how fungal disease is diagnosed and characterized in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). A 19-question anonymous electronic questionnaire was developed and distributed to ascertain current practice in clinical microbiology laboratories providing a fungal laboratory service to CF centres in the UK. Analyses of responses identified the following: (1) current UK laboratory practice, in general, follows the current guidelines, but the scope and diversity of what is currently being delivered by laboratories far exceeds what is detailed in the guidelines; (2) there is a lack of standardization of fungal tests amongst laboratories, outside of the current guidelines; (3) both the UK CF Trust Laboratory Standards for Processing Microbiological Samples from People with Cystic Fibrosis and the US Cumulative Techniques and Procedures in Clinical Microbiology (Cumitech) Guidelines 43 Cystic Fibrosis Microbiology need to be updated to reflect both new methodological innovations, as well as better knowledge of fungal disease pathophysiology in CF; (4) there is a need for clinical medicine to decide upon a stratification strategy for the provision of new fungal assays that will add value to the physician in the optimal management of CF patients; (5) there is also a need to rationale what assays should be performed at local laboratory level and those which are best served at National Mycology Reference Laboratory level; and (6) further research is required in developing laboratory assays, which will help ascertain the clinical importance of ‘old’ fungal pathogens, as well as ‘emerging’ fungal pathogens.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to gratefully thank all the respondents who replied to this questionnaire.

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Correspondence to John E. Moore.

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Boyle, M., Moore, J.E., Whitehouse, J.L. et al. Laboratory Diagnosis and Characterization of Fungal Disease in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF): A Survey of Current UK Practice in a Cohort of Clinical Microbiology Laboratories. Mycopathologia 183, 723–729 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11046-018-0251-z

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Keywords

  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Microbiology
  • Fungal
  • Aspergillus
  • Scedosporium