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Revista argentina de microbiología

versión On-line ISSN 1851-7617


TORANZO, A. I. et al. Molecular diagnosis of human histoplasmosis in whole blood samples. Rev. argent. microbiol. [online]. 2009, vol.41, n.1, pp. 20-26. ISSN 1851-7617.

To assess the value of using whole blood samples for the molecular diagnosis of histoplasmosis, we applied an in-house DNA extraction method and a nested PCR targeting a 210 bp specific segment of the Histoplasma capsulatum HcP100 gene. A whole blood volume of 2.5-3 milliliters was centrifuged and the cellular pellet was treated with Trichoderma harzianum lyticase and proteinase K prior to applying a conventional phenol DNA extraction. This procedure allowed complete cell lysis, high DNA yield and specific amplification. The PCR detection limit was 0.25-1 yeast cells/ml of blood sample. The method was assessed on 31 blood samples from 19 patients with microbiological diagnosis of histoplasmosis, 30 healthy persons and 21 patients with other mycoses or mycobacterial diseases. Positive results were obtained in samples from 17/19 patients with histoplasmosis (14/15 immunocompromised and 3/4 without known immunological disorder). Blood samples from the 30 healthy controls and 20 patients with other conditions proved negative; the only false positive result was obtained from a patient with Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection. With 89% sensitivity and 98% specificity, this molecular method for detection of the agent in blood shows promising for the rapid diagnosis of human histoplasmosis.

Palabras clave : Histoplasmosis; PCR; Molecular diagnosis; Whole blood sample.

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