Galactomannan and advances in fungal diagnostics
Purpose of review: Invasive fungal infections remain a predominant cause of morbidity and mortality in the immunocompromised population. Fungal diagnostics, namely the Platelia Aspergillus enzyme immunoassay (Bio-Rad, Redmond, WA) and the Fungitell 1→-β-D-glucan assay (Associates of Cape Cod, East Falmouth, MA), are now commercially available to assist clinicians in the early diagnosis of fungal infections. This review highlights the performance characteristics of these tests and introduces the reader to other advances in fungal diagnostics. Recent findings: Early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis in patients with leukemia and hematopoietic stem cell transplants is facilitated by the use of the Platelia Aspergillus enzyme immunoassay. This test may also be useful for monitoring the course of invasive aspergillosis. The Fungitell1→3-β-D-glucan assay can be used for early diagnosis of fungal infections due to multiple different organisms, including certain non-Aspergillus mould infections and invasive candidiasis. Physicians utilizing these fungal diagnostic tests should be aware of important issues regarding test performance. Summary: Advances in fungal diagnostics are an important addition to the diagnosis and management of invasive fungal infections. Additional tests such as fungal polymerase chain reaction are on the horizon and are expected to be helpful adjuncts to the diagnosis and management of invasive fungal infections. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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