Comparison of serum PCR assay and histopathology for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis in immunocompromised patients with sinus involvement


1 Shahid Beheshti's Medical School Infectious Diseases Research Center, Tehran, Iran

2 Infectious disease specialist, fellowship of infectious diseases in immunocompromised patients, Infectious disease research center, AJA univesity of medical sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 3- Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

4 Mycobacteriology Research Center, National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (NRITLD), Masih Daneshvari Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background and Purpose: Invasive fungal infections cause morbidity and mortality in patients with hematologic malignancies and immunosuppression. Although these infections are commonly caused by Candida and Aspergillus species, infections caused by Mucoralean fungi are also on a growing trend. The definitive diagnosis of mucormycosis includes visualization of non-septate hyphae on pathology or growth of Mucoralean fungi culture. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to diagnose mucormycosis from paraffin blocks; however, it yields discrepant results in
diagnosis of mucormycosis from blood samples. In the current study, we sought to examine the efficiency of PCR test for the diagnosis of mucormycosis and aspergillosis.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-one patients with suspected fungal sinus infection were recruited from the Hematology-Oncology unit in Taleghani Hospital, Tehran, Iran. DNA was extracted and semi-nested PCR was performed.
Results: PCR was reported negative for all the 31 serum samples. Our assay had a sensitivity of 1.3 ng and 12 pg for Mucoralean and Aspergillus species, respectively.
Conclusion: Using serum PCR, we detected Aspergillus and Mucoralean species in patients with suspected fungal sinus infection. While this test may have utility in diagnosis directly from biopsy site, it appears unreliable for use as a noninvasive blood test.  


Volume 2, Issue 4
December 2016
Pages 46-48
  • Receive Date: 09 July 2019
  • Revise Date: 05 November 2020
  • Accept Date: 09 July 2019
  • First Publish Date: 09 July 2019