Talaromycosis (penicilliosis): characteristics of ethiological agent and laboratory diagnosis
Lipnitsky A.V. , Polovets N.V., Surkova R.S., Shergina ╬.└., Victorov D.V., Toporkov A.V.
Federal Government Health Institution źVolgograd Plague Control Researsh Institute╗ of Federal Service for Surveillance in the Sphere of Consumers Rights Protection and Human Welfare, Volgograd, Russia
Talaromycosis (Penicilliosis) (TM) is a systemic fungal infection of immunocompromised subjects in endemic regions in Southeast Asia. Bamboo rat (Rhizomyces spp. and Cannomyces spp.) and the soil of its burrows are the important environmental reservoirs of the fungus. Traditionally infection in human was mainly associated with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome caused by HIV-infection. In recent years there has been an increasing number of TM-infections reported in non-HIV infected patients with other immunocompromised factors. Talaromyces (Penicillium) marneffei is the only known thermally dimorphic species of the genus Talaromyces. The diagnosis of TM is commonly made by identifying the fungus in clinical speciments by microscopy and culture. Since the majority of patients with disseminated TM have a low titers of antibodies to fungus and high level of antigenemia, many diagnostic methods have focused on antigen detection in serum and other clinical samples. PCR-based technologies offer a good alternative to convential diagnosis of TM and monitoring of patients under antifungal treatment.