Polymerase chain reaction assays for diagnosing fungal infections

Robust, specific, simple and sensitive assays to identify a range of common fungal and antibiotic-resistant infections, using established q-PCR and LNA techniques.

Fungal infections are common, and responsible for a wide range of clinical conditions – but they're difficult to diagnose.

Accurate and early identification of the causative pathogen is essential for diagnosis and treatment. However, direct identification methods are often problematic due to low concentration of pathogen, difficulty in laboratory culture and wide species variation.

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) provides a robust, reliable and accurate method of identifying fungal pathogens. PCR assays are well-established methods for identifying pathogens from specific DNA sequences in their genome. The method is particularly suited to the diagnosis of fungal pathogens, as it gives robust identification from low levels of sample and is less susceptible to phenotypic variation than direct methods.

The assay we've developed at ARU uses an innovative single tube format that significantly simplifies the protocol and decreases the time required to produce a result.

Licensing opportunities

We have a suite of PCR assays available for licensing.

Developed by Professor Stephen Bustin, a leading expert in the field, the primers for our range of diagnostic assays are designed for qPCR assays and result in exquisite sensitivity and specificity. The azole-resistance assays, consist of sets of primers and probes specific for the Az-R mutations and the corresponding wild type sequences.

All assays below have been verified in the laboratory.

Mucor, Mucor indicus, Rhizobium oryzae, Rhizobium microspores, Cunninghamella bertholletiae

Pneumocystis jerovecii
P. jerovecii

Dermatophyte-specific chitin synthase 1 gene (CHS1), Trichiphyton rubrum 18S rRNA, T. interdigitale/mentagrophytes 18S rRNA

Corneal transplant
HSV1, HSV2, Acanthamoeba, Fusarium

Human control
ß- globin

Azole Resistant Aspergilli (LNA)
Tandem repeat (TRWT, TR34, TR46) (melt curve), L98H WT and mutant (probe), Y121F WT and mutant (probe), T289A WT and mutant (probe).

Assays for clinically important bacterial species are also available:

MRSA resistance
Staphylococcus aureus MecA gene

NDM resistance
Klebsiella pneumoniae NDM-1 gene

MCR1-4 resistance
E. coli MCR1 gene, E. coli MCR2, E. coli MCR3, E. coli MCR4

Work with us

We're seeking a commercial partner to manufacture and distribute these assays under licence.

All the assays listed require validation to obtain CE accreditation before they can be marketed and used for diagnosis. Development of the LNA-based assays will require further investment.

We can develop further assays for a commercial partner, and we're always ready to discuss new applications.

PCR assays for diagnosing fungal infections (PDF)

Get in touch

Contact Dr Rana Zayadin for more information.