Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a disease that is difficult to manage and is associated with a significantly high morbidity and mortality, caused by different species of the genus Aspergillus, and closely related to immunocompromised patients; thus, it is important to understand the distribution and molecular epidemiology of the species causing this disease. Even though Aspergillus fumigatus sensu stricto is the most common species that cause IA, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of species in the different sections which makes the diagnosis of this invasive fungal disease a great challenge. Conventional tests for the diagnosis of IA present limitations in sensitivity and specificity, while molecular tests have the potential to improve diagnosis by offering a more sensitive and rapid identification, but they are not yet standardized for reliable use in clinic. Nevertheless, there are some tests for the presumptive diagnosis of aspergillosis which, although are not specific for the identification of species, have been decisive in the case of IA. Among these are the Galactomannan test (GM), the Beta-D-glucan assay and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) testing. In this chapter, the recent advances and challenges in the molecular diagnosis of IA are revised.
Part of the book: Molecular Medicine