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Mycoses. 2011 Sep;54(5):e577-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2010.01995.x.

Rapid identification of fungal pathogens by rolling circle amplification using Fonsecaea as a model.

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CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


We aimed to describe a rapid and sensitive assay for identification of pathogenic fungi without sequencing. The method of rolling circle amplification (RCA) is presented with species of Fonsecaea, agents of human chromoblastomycosis, as a model. The internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA region of 103 Fonsecaea strains was sequenced and aligned in view of designing three specific padlock probes to be used for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms in three Fonsecaea species. The 38 strains included for testing the specificity of RCA comprised 17 isolates of Fonsecaea pedrosoi, 13 of Fonsecaea monophora and eight of Fonsecaea nubica. The assay successfully amplified DNA of the target fungi at the level of species, while no cross reactivity was observed. The amplification product was visualised on a 1% agarose gel to verify the specificity of probe-template binding. Amounts of reagents were minimised to avoid the generation of false-positive results. The simplicity, sensitivity, robustness and low costs provide RCA a distinct position among isothermal techniques for DNA diagnostics as a very practical identification method.

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