Fungal Diseases - Diagnosis

Accurate diagnosis of fungal diseases is not straightforward. A new patient will be asked to give a history of the symptoms they have been experiencing. Depending on the history a number of laboratory tests may be ordered. These may well include the following tests.

Common combinations of tests to diagnose fungal disease:

Fungal problem

Diagnostic performance

Microscopy

Agar culture

Xrays/scans

Antigen

Blood antibody

DNA detection

Thrush

+++

+++

-

-

-

-

Candida bloodstream

-

+++

+

+

+

+++

Candida abdominal

+

+++

+

-

-

-

Cryptococcal meningitis

++

+++

+

+++

-

-

Invasive aspergillosis

+

+

+++

++

-

++

Chronic aspergillosis

+

+

+++

-

+++

++

Allergic aspergillosis

+

+

++

-

+++

+

Coccidioidomycosis

+

++

++

-

+++

-

Histoplasmosis

+

++

+

++

-

-

Zygomycosis

+++

+

++

-

-

-

Aspergillus fumigatus in culture

Newer more rapid molecular test are being developed to enhance the detection of different fungal species, many are still in the testing stage and research is needed to provide rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tests.
Current methods for diagnosing fungal infections are slow and take too much time to process. The faster a positive diagnosis can be reached the better the outcome for the patient.
The FRT aims to support new ways of diagnosing fungal infections.

The Aspergillus Website Resource contains detailed information for patients and their carers specifically about Aspergillus infections and their diagnosis. Much of this information is also applicable to other types of fungal infection.

For more detailed information please visit The Aspergillus Website for patients.

 

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