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Future Microbiol. 2014;9(5):683-95. doi: 10.2217/fmb.14.23.

Laboratory diagnosis of mucormycosis: current status and future perspectives.

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Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Innsbruck Medical University, Schöpfstrasse 41, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


Fungal infections caused by members of the Mucorales order are rapidly progressing and fatal. The importance of mucormycosis has grown in recent years as the number of patients with predisposing factors has increased dramatically. Clinical symptoms are elusive and conventional techniques are often insensitive and unspecific; in particular, cultures are often negative even though direct microscopy is positive. For early diagnosis of the causative agent of disease and subsequently guiding therapy to improving patients' outcome, molecular assays are promising add-ons. This article provides an overview on current laboratory methods for diagnosing mucormycosis with a special focus on new molecular-based tools. We aim to highlight the pros and cons of various techniques at hand. Given the increase in number and the severity of these infections, molecular approaches for improved diagnosis are highly warranted.


PCR; internal transcribed spacer; matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight; molecular diagnosis; mucorales; mucormycosis; species identification

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