We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
LGC Clinical Diagnostics

Download Mobile App

Widely Available Blood Tests Enhance Diagnostic Sensitivity of Fungal Infections

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Sep 2023
Print article
Image: Two widely available serum marker blood tests improve diagnostic sensitivity of invasive fungal infections (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: Two widely available serum marker blood tests improve diagnostic sensitivity of invasive fungal infections (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are on the rise and are especially dangerous for immunocompromised individuals, causing high morbidity and mortality. Diagnosing these infections in a timely and accurate manner is tough, largely because the current method—using punch biopsies for tissue culture and histology—yields unreliable results with only about a 10% match rate. Now, a new study has found that the use of newer tests can improve the diagnosis of this time-sensitive condition.

In the study, researchers at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA, USA) found that two commonly available serum marker blood tests, galactomannan and 1,2-beta-D-glucan, were capable of improving diagnostic sensitivity in IFI cases. The first test, serum galactomannan (GM), is a polysaccharide antigen present specifically in the cell walls of Aspergillus fungi. According to the study, this test is effective for diagnosing invasive aspergillosis, showing a sensitivity range of 63% to 78% and a specificity range of 85% to 93%. A unique advantage of GM is its ability to distinguish between aspergillosis and mucormycosis. However, the researchers have cautioned that the test's sensitivity may decrease if the patient is already undergoing systemic antifungal therapy, particularly mold-active agents.

The second test, 1,2-beta-D-glucan (BDG), is a component found in the cell walls of a range of fungi, including Candida, Aspergillus, and Pneumocystis jirovecii. As many fungi contain BDG, the test is more useful for broadly identifying the presence of fungal etiology rather than specific causative agents. Past meta-analyses have shown that BDG can distinguish between probable and unlikely IFIs with a sensitivity of 77% and a specificity of 85%. However, dermatologists need to be aware that this test can yield false positives, as it does not differentiate between various fungal species. Hence, it may not be suitable for patients with a low likelihood of having an IFI, suggests the study. The researchers have recommended that dermatologists use these blood tests alongside traditional histopathology and cultures to enhance diagnostic sensitivity.

“A double negative GM and BDG can lower the probability of an IFI and encourage providers to seek alternative diagnoses,” stated the researchers.

Related Links:
Thomas Jefferson University

Platinum Supplier
ADAMTS-13 Protease Activity Test
ATS-13 Activity Assay
Gold Supplier
Rheumatoid Factors (RF) Test
Rheumatoid Factors (RF)
Gold Supplier
Pipette Controller
Sapphire MaxiPette
Trichomonas Vaginalis Diagnostic Test
Aptima Trichomonas Vaginalis Assay

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The new assays are designed to run on the B•R•A•H•M•S KRYPTOR compact PLUS clinical chemistry analyzer (Photo courtesy of Thermo Fisher)

Breakthrough Immunoassays to Aid in Risk Assessment of Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a life-threatening blood pressure condition that can arise during pregnancy and the postpartum phase. This severe pregnancy complication is a primary cause of maternal and fetal mortality... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: The ClarityDX Prostate test can reduce unnecessary prostate biopsies by up to 35% (Photo courtesy of Nanostics)

Innovative Blood Test to Revolutionize Prostate Cancer Detection and Reduce Invasive Biopsies

One in six men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis during their lives. Thankfully, if caught early, prostate cancer is highly treatable. However, the existing screening process has its limitations.... Read more


view channel
Image: The latest FDA clearance has finally brought HemoScreen to its full potential as a true POC hematology analyzer (Photo courtesy of PixCell)

True POC Hematology Analyzer with Direct Capillary Sampling Enhances Ease-of-Use and Testing Throughput

An innovative 5-part differential Complete Blood Count (CBC) analyzer with direct capillary sampling capability significantly simplifies blood sampling and minimizes the pre-analytical process.... Read more


view channel
Image: A new test could detect the body’s adaptive immune response to viruses (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Predictive T-Cell Test Detects Immune Response to Viruses Even Before Antibodies Form

The adaptive immune system is an incredible defense mechanism that allows the human body to identify and mount targeted responses against specific pathogens. T-Cells, a special kind of white blood cell,... Read more


view channel
Image: On-chip pretreatment and rapid AST based directly on positive blood cultures (Photo courtesy of Liu Yang)

Integrated Solution for Rapid AST Directly From Positive Blood Cultures to Combat Bloodstream Infection

The presence of living bacteria in the bloodstream, known as bacteremia, can lead to serious conditions like bloodstream infections (BSIs) and sepsis, which can often be fatal. Quickly prescribing the... Read more


view channel
Image: A new electrochemical device can quickly and inexpensively identify people at greatest risk for osteoporosis (Photo courtesy of ACS Central Science, 2023)

Electrochemical Device Identifies People at Higher Risk for Osteoporosis Using Single Blood Drop

With the global increase in life expectancy, the incidence of age-related conditions like osteoporosis is increasing. Osteoporosis, affecting around 200 million individuals worldwide, has a higher incidence... Read more


view channel
Image: AACC Middle East is a two-day conference that brings the latest in laboratory medicine to the Middle East region (Photo courtesy of ADLM)

AACC Middle East 2023 to Explore Latest Trends in Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

The AACC Middle East Conference and Exposition will be held by the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM - formerly AACC, Washington, DC, USA) in partnership with Life Dx (Abu Dhabi,... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.