Overview of Commercially Available PCR Assays for the Detection of Aspergillus spp. DNA in Patient Samples
Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients. Early diagnosis is essential to improve survival. Since the 1990s, attempts for PCR-based diagnosis of IA were made. Progress in the standardization of methods enabled the development of commercially available Aspergillus PCR assays in the last few years. Up to now, the clinical value of only a few commercial assays was investigated more extensively in large cohort studies. Most often, respiratory secretions such as bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) were investigated, but some studies also included serum samples from high-risk patients. The data indicate that Aspergillus PCR, most likely in combination with galactomannan detection, has the potential for early and reliable diagnosis of IA including azole resistance markers. With the broad implementation of this technique in routine diagnosis and incorporation into patient care pathways, it is conceivable that an improvement in management of IA and subsequently patient outcome could occur.