DNA-based detection of human pathogenic fungi: Dermatophytes, opportunists, and causative agents of deep mycoses

Lorenza Putignani, Silvia D'Arezzo, Maria Grazia Paglia, Paolo Visca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The affordability of modern molecular biology tools and the availability of whole genome sequences have brought substantial improvement in research on pathogenic fungi and diagnosis of fungal infection. Molecular methods have resolved many critical aspects of mycological diagnosis by (1) providing species-level identification of fungi through sequencing of suitable taxonomic markers; (2) shortening of the time required for microbiological confirmation of life-threatening fungal infections; and (3) tracing the molecular epidemiology of fungal diseases. Nucleic acids-based methods are less subjective than microscopy- or culture-based methods and unaffected by fungal growth conditions, thus capable of discriminating between phenotypically undistinguishable species. This chapter focuses on the contribution of DNA-based techniques to the identification of clinically important fungi such as Aspergillus, Blastomyces, Candida, Coccidioides, Cryptococcus, Dematiaceous fungi, Fusarium, Histoplasma, Trichosporon, Zygomycetes, and Dermatophytes. Because of their excellent performances, molecular assays are being increasingly adopted by clinical laboratories to complement conventional methods, providing new diagnostic capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Identification of Fungi
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages59
ISBN (Print)9783642050411
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • 18S rRNA
  • Diagnosis
  • ITS
  • Mycosis
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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