Culture-independent molecular methods for detection of antifungal resistance mechanisms and fungal identification

David S. Perlin, Nathan P. Wiederhold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Resistance to azoles and echinocandins has emerged as a significant factor affecting the clinical management of patients with invasive fungal infections. Immunosuppressed patients at high risk for invasive fungal infections often have prolonged or repeated exposure to antifungals resulting in either the well-documented selection of naturally occurring, less susceptible fungal species, or the in situ development of specific resistance mechanisms. Nucleic acid–based molecular diagnostics are particularly well suited for the rapid detection of low-abundance fungal pathogens and identification of the infecting pathogen to the genus and species levels, as well as assessment of resistance mechanisms. A wide range of molecular probing technologies involving real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays that facilitate direct analysis of a single infecting genome in a sterile blood specimen are available and have recently been commercialized (eg, Roche LightCycler SeptiFast and T2 Biosystems T2Candida). One of the exciting applications of molecular technology is the direct detection of specific resistance mechanisms that evolve during therapy. In principle, the detection of resistance mechanisms that have been independently validated to cause resistance provides a culture-independent biomarker for potential therapeutic failure. The emergence of real-time PCR assays utilizing allele-specific molecular detection technology that is highly sensitive, robust, and high-throughput has the potential to improve patient care by providing faster detection of drug-resistant infecting strains and to help inform therapeutic management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S458-S465
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Jan 15 2017


  • Antifungal resistance
  • Aspergillus
  • Candida
  • Culture independent
  • Molecular methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology and Allergy


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