Dermatomycosis refers to a fungal infection of the hair, skin, and nails which are caused by fungi called dermatophytes, in addition to molds and yeasts. In this blog, we summarize the key points of our recent review article on “The need for fast and accurate detection of dermatomycosis” including how newer molecular methods can help close the “diagnostic gap” observed with traditional fungal diagnostics and allow for a rapid detection of dermatomycosis with increased accuracy.
As summer approaches, cases of Tick-borne diseases (TBDs) are on the rise. Lyme disease (LD) is the most common TBD and is generally cured with antibiotic treatment. Testing relies on detecting a patient’s immune response to infection. However, diagnosis of LD can be challenging. Optimal diagnostic accuracy of LD can be achieved by combining two separate antibody tests with consideration of a patient’s symptoms and tick exposure.
KOL Spotlight Interviews is a segment where we interview experts from various fields on their expertise and insights that help shape the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries. This month, we had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Balazs Halmos, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Thoracic/Head & Neck Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In this interview, Dr. Halmos shared his experience as an oncologist during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with hematological malignancies, or blood cancers.
Bartonellosis is an infectious disease caused by Bartonella species and is implicated in causing many emerging and re-emerging infections globally. While there are multiple species, the three most common Bartonella species (and the infections they cause) are: Bartonella henselae (Cat Scratch Disease), Bartonella quintana (Trench fever), and Bartonella bacilliformis (Oroya fever).
Dengue fever has no specific treatment, but supportive care can help manage the symptoms. Only one vaccine, Dengvaxia® from Sanofi, has been approved by the FDA to prevent severe disease. It is approved for children aged 9 to 16 who live in an endemic area and have previously been infected with DENV as confirmed by a laboratory serological assay.
The number of Powassan virus (POWV) reported cases is low compared to other tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. However, the prevalence of POWV infection is likely underestimated because testing capabilities are limited. There are no FDA-cleared assays and only a few commercially available assays. There is a need to increase the awareness of POWV infection to include this testing in clinical routine labs.
As the Delta variant spreads across the world, many vaccinated individuals are worried about the possibility of a breakthrough infection. The term “breakthrough infection” refers to the development of a COVID-19 infection despite an individual being vaccinated against the virus. With many Americans still reluctant to vaccination, and with mask mandates lifted in most states, the highly contagious Delta virus has contributed to spikes in COVID-19 cases across the nation this summer ’21.
Dermatophyte infections are difficult to diagnose clinically as they can resemble other skin disorders. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, dermatophyte infections can lead to permanent damage of the hair, skin, and nails. Molecular diagnostic testing of fungal infections allows for the accurate detection of dermatophytes that might be difficult to grow in culture, or in cases where a dermatophyte infection has already been treated, and allows for species-specific identification.
Invasive Aspergillosis (IA) is an infection caused by Aspergillus. People with weakened immune systems or lung diseases are at a higher risk of developing IA. It is one of the most commonly under-detected diagnoses in ICU patients. Because symptoms are not specific, it is important to know which diagnostic tests can aid in early detection and management of IA.
Dr. Ruth Brignall completed a PhD in immunology and a post-doc in cancer biology. She joined Oxford Immunotec, first as a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) and more recently as a Global Medical Expert. Below, we will learn more about her experiences and insights in tuberculosis and SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics.