Mucormycosis is a devastating invasive fungal infection that has a 47% or greater mortality rate. It predominantly affects immunocompromised individuals, including bone marrow or solid organ transplant recipients, patients with hematological malignancies undergoing chemotherapy, and patients with diabetes mellitus. Diagnosis of mucormycosis is typically done by fungal culture or histopathology. Both approaches usually use invasive pulmonary biopsy specimens whose collection can be risky for medically fragile patients. In addition, fungal culture takes weeks for a result.
The goal of this project is to develop an immunoassay for mucormycosis that provides rapid (<20 min) results from low-risk, minimally invasive specimens (e.g. urine, serum, plasma). This project is funded by a Phase I small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Amanda Burnham-Marusich and Dr. Thomas Kozel are Co-Principal Investigators on the project, which has a collaborative sub-award component to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.