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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Nov 1;33(9):1504-12. Epub 2001 Oct 4.

Use of real-time PCR on blood samples for diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis.

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Department of Hematology and Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


We developed a new quantitative system for diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) using real-time automated polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Intra-assay and interassay precision rates for in vitro examination were 2.53% and 2.20%, respectively, and the linearity of this assay was obtained when there were >20 copies/well. We examined 323 samples taken from 122 patients with hematological malignancies, including 33 patients with IPA and 89 control patients. Blood samples were subjected to PCR antigen detection methods, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and determination of plasma (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan (BDG) concentration. The sensitivities of PCR, ELISA, and BDG measurement for diagnosis of IPA were 79%, 58%, and 67%, respectively; the specificities were 92%, 97%, and 84%. Positive findings on PCR preceded those of computed tomography by -0.3+/-6.6 days, those of BDG measurement by 6.5+/-4.9 days, and those of ELISA by 2.8+/-4.1 days. Real-time PCR was sensitive for IPA diagnosis, and quantitation was accurate.

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