Identification of mycoses in developing countries

Amir Arastehfar, Brian L. Wickes, Macit Ilkit, David H. Pincus, Farnaz Daneshnia, Weihua Pan, Wenjie Fang, Teun Boekhout

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Extensive advances in technology offer a vast variety of diagnostic methods that save time and costs, but identification of fungal species causing human infections remains challenging in developing countries. Since the echinocandins, antifungals widely used to treat invasive mycoses, are still unavailable in developing countries where a considerable number of problematic fungal species are present, rapid and reliable identification is of paramount importance. Unaffordability, large footprints, lack of skilled personnel, and high costs associated with maintenance and infrastructure are the main factors precluding the establishment of high-precision technologies that can replace inexpensive yet time-consuming and inaccurate phenotypic methods. In addition, point-of-care lateral flow assay tests are available for the diagnosis of Aspergillus and Cryptococcus and are highly relevant for developing countries. An Aspergillus galactomannan lateral flow assay is also now available. Real-time PCR remains difficult to standardize and is not widespread in countries with limited resources. Isothermal and conventional PCR-based amplification assays may be alternative solutions. The combination of real-time PCR and serological assays can significantly increase diagnostic efficiency. However, this approach is too expensive for medical institutions in developing countries. Further advances in next-generation sequencing and other innovative technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based diagnostic tools may lead to efficient, alternate methods that can be used in point-of-care assays, which may supplement or replace some of the current technologies and improve the diagnostics of fungal infections in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number90
JournalJournal of Fungi
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Molecular tools
  • Nanopore sequencing
  • Phenotypic assays
  • Serology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Microbiology (medical)


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