Media Centre

Evaluation of a real-time PCR kit for the diagnosis of Onychomycosis

March 21 2016

Onychomycosis is a common nail disorder which currently requires direct microscopic observation and culture for diagnosis. This method is both labour-intensive and slow, meaning that treatment is often prescribed without proper diagnosis. Several commercial kits have recently become available which may improve on the traditional microbiological methods. Petinataud and colleagues (2016) present the first evaluation of one of these kits – a real-time PCR kit for the diagnosis of dermatophytosis, by Bio Evolution.

Bio-evolution Onychomycosis detection kit

The authors collected two samples each from 90 patients with suspected onychomycosis. The first sample was considered non-optimal for conventional mycologicaldiagnosis, while the second was taken as close as possible to the junction between diseased and healthy nail and therefore considered optimal. For each sample, one part was examined microscopically; one part was cultured, while the third was used for DNA extraction and molecular diagnosis. The molecular kit showed high sensitivity and specificity in detecting dermatophytes, regardless of sample quality.  However, as expected, optimal samples allowed for the identification of a higher number of dermatophytes by conventional diagnosis compared to non-optimal samples.

A very typical example of lateral onychomycosis on the great toenail.