Invasive fungal infections (IFI) are a common cause of life-threatening events in immunocompromised patients. Early detection and identification of the fungal pathogen is an important prerequisite for timely onset of the most appropriate treatment. Methods based on fungal culture are often too slow to be clinically useful. Other approaches to the identification of fungal species, including molecular techniques, are often restricted to a small number of the most commonly occurring pathogens and are therefore of limited use in the clinical setting. The development of assays for the detection and identification of a broad-range of clinically relevant fungal species is therefore an urgently needed step towards optimized diagnostics of IFI.
The Luminex® xMAP technology offers a platform for the establishment of multiplex assays permitting high-throughput analysis of up to 100 different target molecules in a single test. Here we describe a Luminex®-based multiplex assay permitting rapid detection and identification of 10 fungal genera and 29 different species, including both commonly occurring and emerging fungal pathogens.