A latex agglutination test for cryptococcal antigen, the Eiken Latex test (Eiken, Tokyo, Japan), was compared with a monoclonal antibody-based agglutination assay, Pastorex Cryptococcus (Diagnostics Pasteur, Marneur-la-Coquette, France). In a murine model of disseminated cryptococcosis, the kinetics of the antigen titers by the Eiken Latex were similar to those by the Pastorex Cryptococcus, but sensitivity was much higher. In HIV-negative patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis, a cryptococcal antigen was detected in 6 of 10 patients by the Eiken Latex test and in only 3 of those patients by the Pastorex Cryptococcus. The results indicate that the Eiken Latex is more sensitive for the detection of the cryptococcal antigen, even in non-disseminated cryptococcosis. The sensitivity and specificity of the Eiken Latex were examined using 195 sera from 25 patients with pulmonary cryptococcosis and 170 patients with non-cryptococcosis. The cutoff value of > or = 1:8 showed a sensitivity of 76% (19/25) and a specificity of 98.9% (168/170).