The Black Yeasts: an Update on Species Identification and Diagnosis

Abstract

Purpose of review

Black yeast-like fungi are capable of causing a wide range of infections, including invasive disease. The diagnosis of infections caused by these species can be problematic. We review the changes in the nomenclature and taxonomy of these fungi, and methods used for detection and species identification that aid in diagnosis.

Recent findings

Molecular assays, including DNA barcode analysis and rolling circle amplification, have improved our ability to correctly identify these species. A proteomic approach using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has also shown promising results. While progress has been made with molecular techniques using direct specimens, data are currently limited.

Summary

Molecular and proteomic assays have improved the identification of black yeast-like fungi. However, improved molecular and proteomic databases and better assays for the detection and identification in direct specimens are needed to improve the diagnosis of disease caused by black yeast-like fungi.

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Correspondence to Connie F. Cañete-Gibas.

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Connie F. Cañete-Gibas declares no conflict of interest.

Nathan P. Wiederhold has received grants from bioMerieux, Astellas, Pfizer, Merck, Viamet, F2G, MOE Medical Devices, and Cidara and has received travel reimbursement from Gilead.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Advances in Diagnosis of Invasive Fungal Infections

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Cañete-Gibas, C.F., Wiederhold, N.P. The Black Yeasts: an Update on Species Identification and Diagnosis. Curr Fungal Infect Rep 12, 59–65 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12281-018-0314-0

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Keywords

  • Black yeasts
  • Diagnosis
  • Species identification
  • Cladophialophora
  • Exophiala
  • Fonsecaea
  • Phialophora
  • Rhinocladiella