The Black Yeasts: an Update on Species Identification and Diagnosis

Connie F. Cañete-Gibas, Nathan P. Wiederhold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Black yeast-like fungi are capable of causing a wide range of infections, including invasive disease. The diagnosis of infections caused by these species can be problematic. We review the changes in the nomenclature and taxonomy of these fungi, and methods used for detection and species identification that aid in diagnosis. Recent findings: Molecular assays, including DNA barcode analysis and rolling circle amplification, have improved our ability to correctly identify these species. A proteomic approach using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has also shown promising results. While progress has been made with molecular techniques using direct specimens, data are currently limited. Summary: Molecular and proteomic assays have improved the identification of black yeast-like fungi. However, improved molecular and proteomic databases and better assays for the detection and identification in direct specimens are needed to improve the diagnosis of disease caused by black yeast-like fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Fungal Infection Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Black yeasts
  • Cladophialophora
  • Diagnosis
  • Exophiala
  • Fonsecaea
  • Phialophora
  • Rhinocladiella
  • Species identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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