Methods: Nasopharyngeal swab and aspirate samples were collected prospectively from 199 patients who presented with ARTIs at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during a 10-month period. The PCR assay was conducted in parallel with conventional culture and direct IF staining methods.
Results: The positive rate of the xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay (78.4%) in detecting respiratory viruses was higher than that of the viral isolation (7.5%) and direct IF (23.1%) methods. Using the xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay, human enterovirus/human rhinovirus (HEV/HRV) was the most frequently detected (46.2%). The xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay revealed mixed infection caused by two or three respiratory viruses in 40 specimens, and these were undetected by the viral isolation and direct IF methods.
Conclusion: The xTAG RVP Fast v2 assay was superior to conventional methods in the identification of common respiratory viruses, with higher sensitivity and shorter turnaround times for laboratory results.
RESULTS: Two fungal isolates (UM 1400 and UM 1020) from human specimens were identified as Daldinia eschscholtzii by morphological features and ITS-based phylogenetic analysis. Both genomes were similar in size with 10,822 predicted genes in UM 1400 (35.8 Mb) and 11,120 predicted genes in UM 1020 (35.5 Mb). A total of 751 gene families were shared among both UM isolates, including gene families associated with fungus-host interactions. In the CAZyme comparative analysis, both genomes were found to contain arrays of CAZyme related to plant cell wall degradation. Genes encoding secreted peptidases were found in the genomes, which encode for the peptidases involved in the degradation of structural proteins in plant cell wall. In addition, arrays of secondary metabolite backbone genes were identified in both genomes, indicating of their potential to produce bioactive secondary metabolites. Both genomes also contained an abundance of gene encoding signaling components, with three proposed MAPK cascades involved in cell wall integrity, osmoregulation, and mating/filamentation. Besides genomic evidence for degrading capability, both isolates also harbored an array of genes encoding stress response proteins that are potentially significant for adaptation to living in the hostile environments.
CONCLUSIONS: Our genomic studies provide further information for the biological understanding of the D. eschscholtzii and suggest that these wood-decaying fungi are also equipped for adaptation to adverse environments in the human host.