Diagnostic value of serum human Galactomannan aspergillus antigen and 1,3-beta-D-glucan in immunocompromised patient suspected fungal infection

J Clin Lab Anal. 2021 Jun;35(6):e23806. doi: 10.1002/jcla.23806. Epub 2021 May 4.


Background: The prevalence of fungal infection (FI) in developing countries is high, but the diagnosis of FI is still challenging to determine, so it is needed evaluation of biomarkers other than microbiological culture, because the culture has low sensitivity, high cost, not available in every laboratory and needs a long time. The detection of human galactomannan Aspergillus antigen (GAL) and 1,3-beta-D-glucan (BDG) on the fungal cell wall could be the promising biomarkers for fungal infection. Neutropenia, lymphopenia and CD4T cells in the immunocompromised patients are essential factors, but these cell associations with BDG and GAL levels have not been evaluated yet. The study aimed to evaluate GAL and BDG for detecting fungal infection and their association with total leucocyte count, neutrophil, monocyte, lymphocyte and CD4T cells.

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 86 patient with suspected FI. Fungal infection established using EORTC/MSG criteria. Serology test performed using ELISA. Leucocyte cells were measured using a haematology autoanalyser, and CD4T cells were analysed using BD FACSPresto. Statistical analysis obtained using Spearman's correlation coefficient, ROC curve analysis and 2 × 2 contingency table.

Results: Serum Galactomannan and BDG had a significant correlation with CD4T cells and total lymphocyte count (p < 0.05). The cut-off OD GAL >0.3 had sensitivity 54.6%, specificity 87.5% and AUC 0.71; meanwhile, the BDG cut-off >115.78 pg/ mL had sensitivity 71.2%, specificity 52.4% and AUC 0.63 for detecting fungal infection.

Conclusions: The immunocompromised patients can undergo GAL for determining the diagnose of FI. The lower the CD4T cells and total lymphocyte count, the higher the GAL and BDG serum levels.

Keywords: 1,3-beta-d-glucan; fungal Infection; galactomannan; haematology parameters; immunocompromised.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood*
  • Aspergillus / chemistry
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Galactose / analogs & derivatives*
  • Galactose / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mannans / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses / blood
  • Mycoses / diagnosis*
  • Mycoses / immunology
  • Mycoses / microbiology
  • Prognosis
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Glucans / blood*


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Mannans
  • beta-Glucans
  • galactomannan
  • beta-1,3-glucan
  • Galactose