Zygomycetes (a class of fungi belonging to the phylum Zygomycota) represents a group of fungi that are ubiquitous in nature and are increasingly becoming recognized as opportunistic pathogens in immunocompromised or immunosuppressed patients. Infections are most commonly caused by Rhizopus oryzae, Rhizopus microsporus, Mucor spp, Rhizomucor sp. and Abisidia corymbifera. Zygomycete fungi pose difficult diagnostic and therapeutic challenges because (i) the spectrum of opportunistic zygomycoses is expanding (ii) their clinical manifestations can be fatal without rapid diagnosis and treatment and (iii) strains that fail to sporulate under normal laboratory conditions may be encountered, thereby making morphological identification difficult.
Zygomycete PCR detects the species mentioned above with higher specificity and sensitivity than the broad-range fungal PCR. The analytical sensitivity is 1 genome per PCR reaction.
Ribes et al. (2000) Zygomycetes in Human Disease in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, pp236-301