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Evaluation of the peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridisation technology for yeast identification directly from positive blood cultures: an Italian experience

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Summary  Fungaemia is an increasing nosocomial pathology. The ‘gold standard’ for detection of fungaemia is blood culture, but it is time‐consuming and its sensitivity for early detection is low. On the other hand, yeasts present different antifungal sensitivity patterns to be quickly detected to allow an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performances of PNA‐FISH to directly identify yeasts from blood cultures and to compare results with those obtained by culture. A total of 176 blood cultures positive for yeasts at direct Gram stain and 24 negative blood cultures as control collected from 15 Italian hospitals, included in a network coordinated by the Medical Mycology Committee, Italian Society of Clinical Microbiology (AMCLI), were examined both by culture and PNA‐FISH technology. Sensitivity of the PNA‐FISH technique evaluated for five Candida species was 99.3% and specificity, 100%. Distinguishing which yeast is implicated in fungaemia and whether the infection is caused by multiple species are important for the selection of antifungal therapy. The PNA‐FISH technique is a very useful approach because the test discriminates between groups of Candida species with different susceptibility pattern, particularly against azoles and echinocandins, with only a 90‐minute turn‐around time after the Gram‐stain reading.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Microbiology Institute, AO “Ospedale San Carlo Borromeo”, Milano, Italy 2: Microbiology Laboratory, AOU “Maggiore della Carità”, Novara, Italy 3: Microbiology Laboratory, AO “Ospedale Domenico Cotugno”, Napoli, Italy 4: Biochemical and Microbiology Laboratory, PO “Ospedale Santo Spirito”, Pescara, Italy 5: Microbiology and Virology Laboratory, AO “Ospedale Niguarda – Ca’ Granda”, Milano, Italy 6: Microbiology and Virology Laboratory, AO “Ospedali Riuniti di Ancona”, Ancona, Italy 7: Microbiology Institute, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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