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Jpn J Infect Dis. 2009 Jan;62(1):1-5.

Early detection of systemic candidiasis in the whole blood of patients with hematologic malignancies.

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Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Systemic candidiasis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with hematologic disorders. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of systemic candidiasis and the efficiency of the polymerase chain reaction-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (PCR-ELIZA) method for the early detection of Candida spp. in patients with hematologic malignancies. From 2004 to 2006, 194 patients with hematologic malignancies were evaluated for systemic candidiasis. Collected blood samples were assayed using the PCR-ELISA method for the presence of the bands on ethidium bromide stained gel, and for hybridization with Candida spp. as well. The female-to-male ratio was 61:133, the mean age was 33.7 years, and the mean hospitalization period was 21.2 days. Twenty-five patients (12.9%) had positive PCR-ELISA results for systemic candidiasis. The etiologic agents were Candida albicans (21 cases), C. tropicalis (3 cases), and C. krusei (1 case). The mean interval of PCR-ELISA positivity in blood samples before the manifestation of clinical signs was 12.6 days. Fungal PCR-ELISA assay became negative after 14 days when patients were treated successfully with amphotericin B, and the assay remained positive until death when the treatment failed. The PCR-ELISA method can potentially serve as a useful tool for the management of patients suffering from hematologic malignancies and at risk for systemic candidiasis.

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