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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2008 Jul;15(7):1095-105. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00068-08. Epub 2008 May 7.

Development of an immunochromatographic lateral-flow device for rapid serodiagnosis of invasive aspergillosis.

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Hybridoma Laboratory, School of Biosciences, Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QD, United Kingdom.


Aspergillus fumigatus is a cosmopolitan saprotrophic fungus that is second only to Candida species as a cause of invasive fungal infections in immunocompromised humans. Current immunodiagnostic tests for invasive aspergillosis (IA) are based on the detection of circulating galactomannan (GM) in a patient's serum by using a rat monoclonal antibody (MAb), EB-A2, that binds to tetra (1-->5)-beta-D-galactofuranoside, the immunodominant epitope in GM. The potential cross-reactivity of MAb EB-A2 with non-Aspergillus fungi, with contaminating GM in beta-lactam antibiotics and foodstuffs, and with bacterial lipoteichoic acids has prompted efforts to discover non-GM antigens that can act as surrogate markers for the diagnosis of IA. This paper describes the development of a mouse MAb, JF5, that binds to a protein epitope present on an extracellular glycoprotein antigen secreted constitutively during the active growth of A. fumigatus. The MAb was used to develop an immunochromatographic lateral-flow device (LFD) for the rapid (15-min) detection of Aspergillus antigens in human serum. The test is highly specific, reacting with antigens from Aspergillus species but not with antigens from a large number of clinically important fungi, including Candida species, Cryptococcus neoformans, Fusarium solani, Penicillium marneffei, Pseudallescheria boydii, and Rhizopus oryzae. The LFD was able to detect circulating antigen in serum samples from patients suspected of having or shown to have IA on the basis of their clinical symptoms and results from tests for GM and fungal (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan. The ease of use of the LFD provides a diagnostic platform for the routine testing of vulnerable patients who have an elevated risk of IA.

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