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Expert Rev Mol Diagn. 2007 Jan;7(1):21-32.

Galactomannan antigen detection in the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis.

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National Cancer Institute, Immunocompromissed Host Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch, National Institutes of Health, 9000 Rockville Pike 10, Center Dr. CRC 1-W-5752, Bethesda, MD 20892-1100, USA.


Invasive aspergillosis is a serious and lethal infection among immunocompromised patients, with reported mortality rates as high as 74-92%. The high mortality is related to the severe immunosuppression experienced by these patients as well as the difficulties for physicians in arriving at a timely diagnosis. Definitive diagnostic procedures (tissue biopsy for histopathology and culture) are often precluded by severe cytopenias and coagulation abnormalities. The development of minimally invasive, nonculture diagnostic methods is a major advance in the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. Galactomannan is a heteropolysaccharide (mannan core and side residues of galactofuranosyl units) present in the cell wall of Aspergillus spp. The double sandwich enzyme immunoassay, which detects galactomannan in serum samples, has been available in Europe for almost a decade and in the USA since May 2003, for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. However, availability of the double galactomannan enzyme immunoassay is center variable in the USA and, although its analytical performance in the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis is well documented, its routine use in clinical practice is limited. As an adjunct in the diagnosis and management of invasive aspergillosis, incorporation of the galactomannan enzyme immunoassay into clinical trials will help to further define its role.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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