Rapid detection and differentiation of clinically relevant candida species simultaneously from blood culture by use of a novel signal amplification approach

Wanyuan Ao, Joshua Klonoski, Eric Berlinghoff, Jordan Jensen, Taliman Afroz, Denton Munns, Wes Lindsey, Gerald Denys, Robert Jenisona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Fungal bloodstream infections are a significant problem in the United States, with an attributable mortality rate of up to 40%. An early diagnosis to direct appropriate therapy has been shown to be critical to reduce mortality rates. Conventional phenotypic methods for fungal detection take several days, which is often too late to impact outcomes. Herein, we describe a cost-effective multiplex assay platform for the rapid detection and differentiation of major clinically relevant Candida species directly from blood culture. This approach utilizes a novel biotin-labeled polymer-mediated signal amplification process combined with targeting rRNA to exploit phylogenetic differences for sensitive and unambiguous species identification; this assay detects seven pathogenic Candida species (C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicalis, C. krusei, C. lusitaniae, and C. guilliermondii) simultaneously with very high specificity to the species level in less than 80 min with the limits of detection at 1 103 to 10 103 CFU/ml or as few as 50 CFU per assay. The performance of the described assay was verified with 67 clinical samples (including mixed multiple-species infections as well), with an overall 100% agreement with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry-based reference results. By providing a species identity rapidly, the clinician is aided with information that may direct appropriate therapy sooner and more accurately than current approaches, including PCR-based tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00982
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018



  • Blood culture
  • Candida
  • Candida detection
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Signal amplification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

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