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Optimising the diagnostic strategy for onychomycosis from sample collection to FUNGAL identification evaluation of a diagnostic kit for real‐time PCR

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Onychomycosis is a common nail disorder mainly due to dermatophytes for which the conventional diagnosis requires direct microscopic observation and culture of a biological sample. Nevertheless, antifungal treatments are commonly prescribed without a mycological examination having been performed, partly because of the slow growth of dermatophytes. Therefore, molecular biology has been applied to this pathology, to support a quick and accurate distinction between onychomycosis and other nail damage. Commercial kits are now available from several companies for improving traditional microbiological diagnosis. In this paper, we present the first evaluation of the real‐time PCR kit marketed by Bio Evolution for the diagnosis of dermatophytosis. Secondly, we compare the efficacy of the kit on optimal and non‐optimal samples. This study was conducted on 180 nails samples, processed by conventional methods and retrospectively analysed using this kit. According to our results, this molecular kit has shown high specificity and sensitivity in detecting dermatophytes, regardless of sample quality. On the other hand, and as expected, optimal samples allowed the identification of a higher number of dermatophytes by conventional mycological diagnosis, compared to non‐optimal samples. Finally, we have suggested several strategies for the practical use of such a kit in a medical laboratory for quick pathogen detection.
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Keywords: Onychomycosis; PCR; culture; diagnosis; direct examination; kit

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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