Scedosporium and Lomentospora Infections: Contemporary Microbiological Tools for the Diagnosis of Invasive Disease

29 June 2021
MBI researchers publication in Journal of Fungi
Scedosporium/Lomentospora fungi are increasingly recognized pathogens. As these fungi are resistant to many antifungal agents, early diagnosis is essential for initiating targeted drug therapy.

Sharon Chen, Catriona Halliday, Martin Hoenigi, Oliver Cornely and Wieland Meyer

We review the microbiological tools for the detection and diagnosis of invasive scedosporiosis and lomentosporiosis. Of over 10 species, Lomentospora prolificans, Scedosporium apiospermum, S. boydii and S. aurantiacum cause the majority of infections. Definitive diagnosis relies on one or more of visualization, isolation or detection of the fungus from clinical specimens by microscopy techniques, culture and molecular methods such as panfungal PCR or genus-/species-specific multiplex PCR. For isolation from respiratory tract specimens, selective media have shown improved isolation rates. Species identification is achieved by macroscopic and microscopic examination of colonies, but species should be confirmed by ITS with or without β-tubulin gene sequencing or other molecular methods. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry databases are improving but may need supplementation by in-house spectra for species identification. Reference broth microdilution methods is preferred for antifungal susceptibility testing. Next-generation sequencing technologies have good potential for characterization of these pathogens.Diagnosis of Scedosporium/ Lomentospora infections relies on multiple approaches encompassing both phenotypic- and molecular-based methods.