Actinomycetoma laboratory-based diagnosis: a mini-review

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Mycetoma is a chronic granulomatous inflammatory disease that is caused either by fungi (eumycetoma) or bacteria (actinomycetoma). The latter is caused by various actinomycetes of the genera Nocardia, Streptomyces and Actinomadura. They have different geographical distributions within mycetoma-endemic regions. In parts of Latin America, Nocardia species are more often encountered while in Africa, Streptomyces species dominate. For instituting a proper patient treatment plan, accurate identification of the causative organism is vital. For actinomycetoma, different laboratory-based techniques have been developed during recent decades. These include direct microscopy, cytology, histopathology and serology. More recently, different molecular techniques and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation-time of flight mass spectrometry have been included as diagnostic methods for actinomycetoma. In this review, an update on the laboratory techniques currently in use for the identification of actinomycetoma-causative agents to the species level is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


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