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J Clin Microbiol. 2015 Jul;53(7):2115-21. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00667-15. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Analytical and Clinical Evaluation of the PathoNostics AsperGenius Assay for Detection of Invasive Aspergillosis and Resistance to Azole Antifungal Drugs during Testing of Serum Samples.

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  • 1Public Health Wales Microbiology Cardiff, Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • 2Infection, Immunity and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.


The commercially developed PathoNostics AsperGenius species assay is a multiplex real-time PCR capable of detecting aspergillosis and genetic markers associated with azole resistance. The assay is validated for testing bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, replacing the requirement for culture and benefiting patient management. Application of this assay to less invasive, easily obtainable samples (e.g., serum) might be advantageous. The aim of this study was to determine the analytical and clinical performance of the AsperGenius species and resistance assays for testing serum samples. For the analytical evaluations, serum samples were spiked with various concentrations of Aspergillus genomic DNA for extraction, following international recommendations. For the clinical study, 124 DNA extracts from 14 proven/probable invasive aspergillosis (IA) cases, 2 possible IA cases, and 33 controls were tested. The resistance assay was performed on Aspergillus fumigatus PCR-positive samples when a sufficient fungal burden was evident. The limits of detection of the species and resistance assays for A. fumigatus DNA were 10 and ≥75 genomes/sample, respectively. Nonreproducible detection at lower burdens was achievable for all markers. With a positivity threshold of 39 cycles, the sensitivity and specificity of the species assay were 78.6% and 100%, respectively. For 7 IA cases, at least one genetic region potentially associated with azole resistance was successfully amplified, although no resistance markers were detected in this small cohort. The AsperGenius assay provides good clinical performance with the added ability to detect azole resistance directly from noninvasive samples. While the available burden will limit application, it remains a significant advancement in the diagnosis and management of aspergillosis.

Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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