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Coccidioidomycosis and blastomycosis: advances in molecular diagnosis.

Clinical isolates of Coccidioides spp. and Blastomyces dermatitidis can be identified by chemiluminescent DNA probes and PCR assays targeting multicopy genes. In fixed tissue samples, cells of the two fungi are specified by in situ hybridization and PCR assays targeting 18S rDNA but sequencing of the products is mandatory. Nested PCR assays targeting genes encoding species- or genus-specific proteins like proline rich antigen of Coccidioides spp. and B. dermatitidis adhesin facilitate amplification of specific DNA from fixed tissue samples. The value of DNA amplification from native specimens of suspected cases of coccidioidomycosis or blastomycosis still needs to be determined.

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