Identification of invasive fungal infections in patients with hematologic disorders by Real-time PCR

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Master of Sciences, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 , Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

6 Professor, Alborzi Clinical Microbiology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Introduction: Invasive fungal infections due to Aspergillus and Candida often occur in leukemia and transplantation patients because of a severe compromised in their immune systems. Rapid identification and initiation of treatment in the early stages of the disease can reduce mortality from fungal infection. The aim of this study was the identification of invasive fungal infections by Real-time PCR in patients with hematologic disorders and bone marrow transplantation.
Methods and Materials: patients with immunodeficiency hospitalized in Mashhad hospitals between March to November 2018 were evaluated for invasive fungal infections using TaqMan Real-time PCR with fluorescence probes and specific primers to identify fungal DNA in peripheral blood samples.
Results: Seventy-five patients participated in this study. The female/ male ratio was 34 (45.3%)/ 41 (54.7%). The most common underlying disease was acute lymphoblastic leukemia (45.3%) and acute myeloid leukemia (32%) and the lowest was related to haemophagocytic patients with lymphohistiocytosis (1.3%). Blood culture results showed isolation of non-albicans Candida (13.3%) and Candida albicans (1.3%). Aspergillus species was not isolated from the blood culture. Real-time PCR were positive for Candida albicans and Aspergillus species in 5 (6.7%) and 9 patients (12%), respectively and 61 patients (81.3%) had negative results for invasive fungal infections.
Conclusion: Fungi are one of the major cause of infections in the patients with hematologic disorders. Real-time PCR techniques can be a reliable and fast way to diagnose these infections and manage the disease in high-risk individuals.


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