Development of a PCR-based line probe assay for identification of fungal pathogens.
ABSTRACT: We report on a reverse-hybridization line probe assay (LiPA) which when combined with PCR amplification detects and identifies clinically significant fungal pathogens including Candida, Aspergillus, and Cryptococcus species. DNA probes have been designed from the internal transcribed-spacer (ITS) regions of Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis, Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis, Candida krusei, Candida dubliniensis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus versicolor, Aspergillus nidulans and Aspergillus flavus. The probes were incorporated into a LiPA for detection of biotinylated ITS PCR products, and the specificity of the probes was evaluated. We established LiPA detection limits for ITS 1 and for full ITS amplicons for genomic DNA from C. albicans, A. fumigatus, and C. neoformans. Further evaluation of the LiPA was carried out on clinical fungal isolates. One hundred twenty-seven isolates consisting of dimorphic yeasts and dermatophytic and filamentous fungi were tested by the LiPA, which correctly identified 77 dimorphic yeasts and 23 of the filamentous isolates; the remaining 27 isolates represented species of fungi for which probes were not included in the LiPA. The fungal-PCR-LiPA technology was applied to blood samples inoculated with Candida cells which were pretreated by minibead beating to mechanically disrupt the cells, with the DNA extracted by either a previously described guanidium thiocyanate-silica method or the commercially available QIAmp tissue kit. PCR amplification of the extracted DNA and subsequent DNA probe hybridization in the LiPA assay yielded detection limits of 2 to 10 cells/ml. An internal standard control was included in the PCR amplification to monitor for PCR inhibition. This fungal PCR-LiPA assay is robust and sensitive and can easily be integrated into a clinical-testing laboratory with the potential for same-day diagnosis of fungal infection.
Project description:We have developed 21 specific nucleic acid probes which target the large subunit rRNA genes from Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus glaucus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Candida albicans, Candida (Torulopsis) glabrata, Candida guilliermondii, Candida kefyr, Candida krusei, Candida lusitaniae, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii, Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans, Filobasidiella neoformans var. bacillispora, Filobasidiella neoformans var. neoformans, Histoplasma capsulatum, Pseudallescheria boydii, and Sporothrix schenckii. A section of the 28S rRNA gene from approximately 100 fungi, representing about 50 species of pathogens and commonly encountered saprophytes, was sequenced to develop universal PCR primers and species-specific oligonucleotide probes. Each step in the process of detection and identification was standardized to a common set of conditions applicable without modification to all fungi of interest and all types of clinical specimens. These steps consist of DNA extraction by boiling specimens in an alkaline guanidine-phenol-Tris reagent, amplification of a variable region of the 28S rRNA gene with universal primers, and amplicon identification by probe hybridization or DNA sequencing performed under conditions identical for all fungi. The results obtained by testing a panel of fungal isolates and a variety of clinical specimens indicate a high level of specificity.
Project description:A procedure based on panfungal PCR and multiplex liquid hybridization was developed for the detection of fungi in tissue specimens. The PCR amplified the fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region (ITS1-5.8S rRNA-ITS2). After capture with specific probes, eight common fungal pathogens (Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, and Cryptococcus neoformans) were identified according to the size of the amplification product on an automated sequencer. The nonhybridized products were identified by sequencing. The performance of the procedure was examined with 12 deep-tissue specimens and 8 polypous tissue biopsies from the paranasal sinuses. A detection level of 0.1 to 1 pg of purified DNA (2 to 20 CFU) was achieved. Of the 20 specimens, PCR was positive for 19 (95%), of which 10 (53%) were hybridization positive. In comparison, 12 (60%) of the specimens were positive by direct microscopy, but only 7 (35%) of the specimens showed fungal growth. Sequencing of the nonhybridized amplification products identified an infecting agent in six specimens, and three specimens yielded only sequences of unknown fungal origin. The procedure provides a rapid (within 2 days) detection of common fungal pathogens in tissue specimens, and it is highly versatile for the identification of other fungal pathogens.
Project description:We evaluated a combined panfungal PCR-reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay based on internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and ITS2 region polymorphisms to identify 159 Candida, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Aspergillus isolates (22 species). Its utility to identify fungal pathogens directly from 27 clinical specimens was also determined. ITS sequence analysis was performed to resolve discrepant identifications or where no RLB result was obtained. Species-specific ITS2- and ITS1-based probes correctly identified 155 of 159 isolates (98%) and 149 (93.7%) isolates, respectively. All strains were unambiguously differentiated with the exception of cross-reactivity between the Candida norvegensis probe and Candida haemulonii DNA product. Species identification of the pathogen was made for all 21 specimens (sensitivity of 100%) where species-specific probes were included in the RLB; however, there was no ITS2 probe-based hybridization signal for two specimens. Results were concordant with the culture results for 18 (85.7%) specimens. The assay was able to provide species identification in the absence of a culture result (two specimens) and to detect mixed infection (one specimen). The results indicate that the RLB assay is capable of reliably detecting yeasts and Aspergillus spp. in clinical specimens and that the incorporation of both ITS1- and ITS2-targeted probes is required for optimal sensitivity. The test has potential utility in the early diagnosis of invasive fungal infection, since "fungal" DNA was detected in all 27 specimens. Prior to incorporation of probes to detect other fungal species, ITS sequencing may be performed to achieve species identification.
Project description:We report on a reverse line blot (RLB) assay, utilizing fungal species-specific oligonucleotide probes to hybridize with internal transcribed spacer 2 region sequences amplified using a nested panfungal PCR. Reference and clinical strains of 16 Candida species (116 strains), Cryptococcus neoformans (five strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. neoformans, five strains of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii, and six strains of Cryptococcus gatti), and five Aspergillus species (68 strains) were all correctly identified by the RLB assay. Additional fungal species (16 species and 26 strains) not represented on the assay did not exhibit cross-hybridization with the oligonucleotide probes. In simulated clinical specimens, the sensitivity of the assay for Candida spp. and Aspergillus spp. was 10(0.5) cells/ml and 10(2) conidia/ml, respectively. This assay allows sensitive and specific simultaneous detection and identification of a broad range of fungal pathogens.
Project description:A multiplex PCR method was developed to identify simultaneously multiple fungal pathogens in a single reaction. Five sets of species-specific primers were designed from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions, ITS1 and ITS2, of the rRNA gene to identify Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Candida parapsilosis, Candida tropicalis, and Aspergillus fumigatus. Another set of previously published ITS primers, CN4 and CN5, were used to identify Cryptococcus neoformans. Three sets of primers were used in one multiplex PCR to identify three different species. Six different species of pathogenic fungi can be identified with two multiplex PCRs. Furthermore, instead of using templates of purified genomic DNA, we performed the PCR directly from yeast colonies or cultures, which simplified the procedure and precluded contamination during the extraction of DNA. A total of 242 fungal isolates were tested, representing 13 species of yeasts, four species of Aspergillus, and three zygomycetes. The multiplex PCR was tested on isolated DNA or fungal colonies, and both provided 100% sensitivity and specificity. However, DNA from only about half the molds could be amplified directly from mycelial fragments, while DNA from every yeast colony was amplified. This multiplex PCR method provides a rapid, simple, and reliable alternative to conventional methods to identify common clinical fungal isolates.
Project description:A sensitive rolling-circle amplification (RCA)-based method utilizing species-specific padlock probes targeted to the internal transcribed spacer 2 region of the fungal ribosomal DNA gene complex was developed. The assay was rapid (2 hours) and specific. Of 28 fungal isolates (16 of Candida, six of Aspergillus, and six of Scedosporium spp.), all were all identified correctly.
Project description:The major diagnostic antigens of Histoplasma capsulatum var. capsulatum are the H and M antigens, pluripotent glycoproteins that elicit both humoral and T-cell-mediated immune responses. The gene encoding the M antigen has previously been sequenced, and its sequence has significant overall homology to those of the genes for fungal catalases. Regions of the M-antigen gene with little or no homology were used to design four oligonucleotide sequences for application in the PCR detection and identification of H. capsulatum var. capsulatum. The PCR correctly identified the 31 H. capsulatum var. capsulatum strains isolated from human, animal, and soil specimens and 1 H. capsulatum var. duboisii isolate. PCR products of 111 and 279 bp were amplified with primers Msp1F-Msp1R and Msp2F-Msp2R, respectively. No amplification product was obtained from DNA extracted from an H. capsulatum var. farciminosum isolate. The specificity of the PCR with the M-antigen-derived primers was confirmed by the total absence of amplification products when genomic DNA from Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Candida spp., Sporothrix schenckii, Cryptococcus neoformans, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Coccidioides immitis, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus fumigatus were applied in the reaction. This rapid, sensitive, and specific assay provides a way to identify typical and atypical isolates of H. capsulatum var. capsulatum.
Project description:Rapid detection and differentiation of Aspergillus and Mucorales species in fungal rhinosinusitis diagnosis are desirable, since the clinical management and prognosis associated with the two taxa are fundamentally different. We describe an assay based on a combination of broad-range PCR amplification and reverse line blot hybridization (PCR/RLB) to detect and differentiate the pathogens causing fungal rhinosinusitis, which include five Aspergillus species (A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, A. terreus, and A. nidulans) and seven Mucorales species (Mucor heimalis, Mucor racemosus, Mucor cercinelloidea, Rhizopus arrhizus, Rhizopus microsporus, Rhizomucor pusillus, and Absidia corymbifera). The assay was validated with 98 well-characterized clinical isolates and 41 clinical tissue specimens. PCR/RLB showed high sensitivity and specificity, with 100% correct identifications of 98 clinical isolates and no cross-hybridization between the species-specific probes. Results for five control isolates, Candida albicans, Fusarium solani, Scedosporium apiospermum, Penicillium marneffei, and Exophiala verrucosa, were negative as judged by PCR/RLB. The analytical sensitivity of PCR/RLB was found to be 1.8 × 10(-3) ng/?l by 10-fold serial dilution of Aspergillus genomic DNA. The assay identified 35 of 41 (85.4%) clinical specimens, exhibiting a higher sensitivity than fungal culture (22 of 41; 53.7%) and direct sequencing (18 of 41; 43.9%). PCR/RLB similarly showed high specificity, with correct identification 16 of 18 specimens detected by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequencing and 16 of 22 detected by fungal culture, but it also has the additional advantage of being able to detect mixed infection in a single clinical specimen. The PCR/RLB assay thus provides a rapid and reliable option for laboratory diagnosis of fungal rhinosinusitis.
Project description:We developed a PCR-based assay to differentiate medically important species of Aspergillus from one another and from other opportunistic molds and yeasts by employing universal, fungus-specific primers and DNA probes in an enzyme immunoassay format (PCR-EIA). Oligonucleotide probes, directed to the internal transcribed spacer 2 region of ribosomal DNA from Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus ustus, and Aspergillus versicolor, differentiated 41 isolates (3 to 9 each of the respective species; P < 0.001) in a PCR-EIA detection matrix and gave no false-positive reactions with 33 species of Acremonium, Exophiala, Candida, Fusarium, Mucor, Paecilomyces, Penicillium, Rhizopus, Scedosporium, Sporothrix, or other aspergilli tested. A single DNA probe to detect all seven of the most medically important Aspergillus species (A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. nidulans, A. niger, A. terreus, A. ustus, and A. versicolor) was also designed. Identification of Aspergillus species was accomplished within a single day by the PCR-EIA, and as little as 0.5 pg of fungal DNA could be detected by this system. In addition, fungal DNA extracted from tissues of experimentally infected rabbits was successfully amplified and identified using the PCR-EIA system. This method is simple, rapid, and sensitive for the identification of medically important Aspergillus species and for their differentiation from other opportunistic fungi.
Project description:Invasive fungal infections have emerged as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. Conventional identification of pathogenic fungi in clinical microbiology laboratories is time-consuming and, therefore, often imperfect for the early initiation of an adequate antifungal therapy. We developed a diagnostic microarray for the rapid and simultaneous identification of the 12 most common pathogenic Candida and Aspergillus species. Oligonucleotide probes were designed by exploiting the sequence variations of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the rRNA gene cassette to identify Candida albicans, Candida dubliniensis, Candida krusei, Candida glabrata, Candida tropicalis, Candida parapsilosis, Candida guilliermondii, Candida lusitaniae, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus niger, and Aspergillus terreus. By using universal fungal primers (ITS 1 and ITS 4) directed toward conserved regions of the 18S and 28S rRNA genes, respectively, the fungal ITS target regions could be simultaneously amplified and fluorescently labeled. To establish the system, 12 pre-characterized fungal strains were analyzed; and the method was validated by using 21 clinical isolates as blinded samples. As the microarray was able to detect and clearly identify the fungal pathogens within 4 h after DNA extraction, this system offers an interesting potential for clinical microbiology laboratories.