What is the role of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays in the workup of coccidioidomycosis?

Updated: Aug 27, 2019
  • Author: Duane R Hospenthal, MD, PhD, FACP, FIDSA, FASTMH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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PCR assays are used to detect a target gene after DNA extraction from biopsy specimens. [52] In the clinical setting, Coccidioides PCR serum testing was found to have very high specificity and negative predictive value. [53] PCR testing is a safer and faster alternative to handling highly virulent cultures of Coccidioides.

PCR amplification has been used successfully to identify the highly specific Ag2/PRA antigen gene of C posadasii in appropriate samples of sputum. [54] This technique can be applied to both clinical specimens and cultures. [55, 56] The MBP-1 gene for both Coccidioides species and the SOW-gp82 gene for C posadasii have also been identified with high sensitivity and high specificity via PCR. [57]

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