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Rev Iberoam Micol. 2004 Mar;21(1):10-4.

Is there a role for antibody testing in the diagnosis of invasive candidiasis?

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Departamento de Inmunología, Microbiología y Parasitología, Universidad del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Bilbao, Spain.


During the last decades, the use of antibody tests for the diagnosis of invasive mycoses has declined as a consequence of the general belief that they are insensitive and non-specific. However, there is a clear evidence that antibodies can be detected in highly immunodeficient patients (such as bone marrow transplant recipients), and that those antibodies are useful for the diagnosis. Antibody tests are currently in use as diagnostic tools for some primary mycoses, such as the endemic mycoses, aspergilloma, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergilosis and sporothrichosis. For invasive candidiasis, diagnostic methods must differentiate Candida colonization of mucous membranes or superficial infection from tissue invasion by this microorganism. Substantial progress has been made in diagnosis of invasive candidiasis with the development of a variety of methods for the detection of antibodies and antigens. However, no single test has found widespread clinical use and there is a consensus that diagnosis based on a single specimen lacks sensitivity. It is necessary to test sequential samples taken while the patient is at greatest risk for developing invasive candidiasis to optimize the diagnosis. Results obtained from a panel of diagnostic tests in association with clinical aspects will likely be the most useful strategy for early diagnosis and therapy.

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