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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 Dec;20(12):864-70.

Contribution of serological tests and blood culture to the early diagnosis of systemic candidiasis.

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Laboratoire de Parasitologie-Mycologie, CHRU, Faculté de Médecine Pĵle Recherche, Lille, France.


The isolation of Candida species from a single blood culture is considered sufficient evidence for the initiation of systemic antifungal therapy. However, blood cultures still lack sensitivity. Previous reports have suggested that the combined serological detection of mannanemia and anti-mannan antibodies may be useful for the diagnosis of systemic candidiasis caused by Candida albicans (specificity and sensitivity 93% and 80%, respectively). In this study, serological tests to detect Candida albicans mannan and Candida albicans antibodies (Platelia Candida Antigen and Antibody tests; Bio-Rad, France) were applied retrospectively to a series of patients with at least one Candida-positive blood culture and from whom at least one serum sample, taken before or on the day of blood culture, was available. Forty-five patients were selected, including 23 infected by Candida albicans, 4 by Candida glabrata, 9 by Candida tropicalis, 5 by Candida parapsilosis, and 4 by Candida krusei. Serological tests were positive in 73% of patients at least 2 days, and in some patients, up to 15 days before blood cultures became positive. These data suggest that serological surveillance of at-risk patients using the Platelia Candida tests could result in earlier initiation of antifungal therapy, especially when used in conjunction with blood cultures. In this way, more efficient management of nosocomial infections caused by Candida species can be achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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