Fungal infections are a frequent occurrence in medical practice due to increasing numbers of immunosuppressed patients. New antifungal medications have been developed and it has become evident that different fungi require different treatments as some are intrinsically resistant to these drugs. Thus, it is imperative that pathologists recognize the limitations of histopathologic diagnosis regarding speciation of fungal infections and advocate for the use of different techniques that can help define the genus and species of the fungus present in the specimen they are studying. In this review we present the use of in situ hybridization as an important adjunct for the diagnosis of fungal diseases, the different techniques that have been used for fungal identification, and the limitations that these techniques have.
*Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
†Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
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The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Reprints: Kathleen T. Montone, MD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, 6 Founders, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).