Skip main navigation

Importance of accurate diagnostics

This article highlights why accuracy is an important feature in fungal diagnostic tests.
photo of archery target with arrows in the centre

The ideal fungal diagnostic is rapid, specific, sensitive, and accurate. In this step we will focus on the importance of accuracy in fungal diagnostics.

Fungal infections are fairly common, with an estimated 1 billion individuals suffering from them. As this number increases, so do the number of individuals suffering from severe disease, something which is a particular risk to those who are immunocompromised (e.g. chemotherapy and transplant patients).

As fungal infections can be serious it is important that when diagnostic tests are carried out they are accurate – if diagnosis of an infection is missed this could quickly become dangerous for the patient who does not receive the treatment they need. It is important to diagnose as early as possible – mortality due to candidemia may increase by 20% after only a 12-hour delay in the initiation of treatment following collection of the initial positive blood culture. This means that an accurate test is important – if results are accurate the first time then patients do not have to wait for further testing, which could cause greater harm. Receiving an accurate diagnosis the first time a test is used will also be valuable in cutting costs.

Accurate fungal diagnostics also allow the correct treatment to be selected as early as possible. This is particularly important when it comes to the use of antifungals, as high quality stewardship will ensure the antifungal treatments currently available remain effective.

This article is from the free online

Fungal Diagnostics in Critically Ill Patients

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education