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RL Font, TG Wu, KR Wilhelmus, BM Mitchell; Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in the Diagnosis of Fungal Infections of the Eye . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1609.
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Purpose: To study different Candida and non-Candida mycotic infections of the ocular structures using PCR methodology. Methods: Ten cases of ocular mycotic infections were evaluated using histopathology, microbial culturing, and highly sensitive PCR methodology. DNA was extracted from seven keratectomy specimens, two retinal biopsy specimens and an eye with endophthalmitis. The DNAs were evaluated using a pan-fungal PCR and a Candida albicans-specific PCR. The PCR primers are designed to detect a broad range of fungal DNA or amplify only C. albicans DNA (200bp). Results: Histopathological analyses of the ten specimens by light microscopy were positive for fungi and all cases were culture positive. Four of the cases were Candida albicans infections, one was a C. parasilopsis infection, and the remaining five cases were mycotic keratitis caused by Aspergillus flavus (two cases), Fusarium sp., Scedosporium apiospermum and Phoma sp. The panfungal PCR amplified the diverse range of fungal DNA from the various ocular specimens. The results from the Candida albicans-specific PCR were positive for the four cases of C. albicans infection, but negative for the remaining seven cases, including the case of C. parasilopsis. Conclusion: PCR results correlated accurately with histopathology and culture results in both Candida and non-Candida fungal infections involving the ocular structures. PCR analysis of ophthalmic specimens provided a rapid and accurate diagnosis of fungal infections involving the ophthalmic region.
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