Serodiagnosis of histoplasmosis, paracoccidioidomycosis and penicilliosis marneffei; current status and future trends

Med Mycol. 1998 Dec;36(6):351-64.


Effective serodiagnosis of systemic fungal infections is of increasing importance, particularly with regard to the identification of infection with Histoplasma capsulatum, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and Penicillium marneffei. Methodology has been based either around antibody or antigen detection, although there is clear overlap between the two. Antibody-based detection systems for the diagnosis of histoplasmosis, paracoccidioidomycosis and penicilliosis marneffei have now begun to incorporate a range of highly purified and well-characterized antigens, in contrast to the situation of a few years ago when relatively crude preparations derived from either whole cells or culture filtrate were used. The application of such antigens offers improvements in reproducibility and specificity, although the detection of meaningful antibody responses in immunosuppressed individuals remains a problem. Partly as a consequence of this a great deal of attention has focused on the development of antigen detection assays, and such methods have proved particularly successful, as for instance in the serodiagnosis of histoplasmosis in AIDS patients. The recent utilization of monoclonal antibodies in the development of antigen detection methods for the diagnosis of histoplasmosis and paracoccidioidomycosis offers further scope for improvement in this area.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / microbiology
  • Antibodies, Fungal / blood
  • Antigens, Fungal / analysis
  • Histoplasma / immunology
  • Histoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Histoplasmosis / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Mycoses / diagnosis*
  • Paracoccidioides / immunology
  • Paracoccidioides / isolation & purification
  • Paracoccidioidomycosis / diagnosis*
  • Penicillium* / immunology
  • Penicillium* / isolation & purification
  • Serologic Tests* / trends


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antigens, Fungal