Despite the fact that PCR for the detection of Aspergillus in human specimens exists for almost two decades, the technique was not included in the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) consensus definitions for diagnosing invasive fungal diseases (IFD) because of the lack of standardisation. In 2006, the UK Fungal PCR Consensus group published an agreed methodology for PCR aided diagnosis of IA within the UK and Ireland. Then, at the meeting of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycoses (ISHAM) in Paris in September 2006, a group of mainly European experts founded the European Aspergillus PCR Initiative (EAPCRI) involving more than 60 centres across Europe and centres in Australia and the Middle East.
The EAPCRI agreed to collaborate to develop a standard for Aspergillus PCR methodology and to validate this in clinical trials so that PCR could be incorporated into future consensus definitions for diagnosing IFD.
The EAPCRI consists of a laboratory, clinical and statistical working party with a steering committee charged with focusing the overall direction of the group, providing a link between the working parties and raising the necessary funds.