Two NUI Galway researchers have published a book on fungal diagnostics, detailing innovative methods for rapid, accurate detection of these potentially life threatening infections.
Compiled and edited by NUI Galway’s Dr Louise O’Connor and Dr Barry Glynn, Fungal Diagnostics: Methods and Protocols also brings together contributions from experts in the field of fungal detection and identification.
While focusing mainly in the clinical field, the book also includes other areas where detection of fungi is important such as veterinary diagnostics, food and environmental testing.
The format of the chapters is such that those in testing laboratories have step-by-step protocols with tips on troubleshooting and avoiding known pitfalls. The publication aims to offer alternative innovative protocols to those in the field of diagnostic testing.
From the common nail infection to life threatening bloodstream complications, fungi are a significant public health concern. The number of cases of infection, commonly seen in transplant recipients, AIDS and cancer patients has seen a significant increase over the last two decades.
These organisms resistance to anti-fungal therapy is a worrying trend. In an effort to limit this rise in resistance there has been a greater worldwide effort to improve the accuracy of diagnosis in order to ensure that appropriate therapy is administered at the earliest sign of infection, reducing the risk of resistant organisms emerging thus resulting in a better outcome for the patient.
Dr Louise O’Connor, co-editor of Fungal Diagnostics: Methods and Protocols, says traditional methods of fungal identification are time consuming. This means the infection has progressed significantly before it is identified.
“The need for more rapid tests has led to significant advancements in the development of identification methods as well as subsequent treatment regimes.”