Serial monitoring of Aspergillus antigen in the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. Preliminary investigations with two examples

Infection. Mar-Apr 1997;25(2):86-9. doi: 10.1007/BF02113581.


A recently developed sandwich ELISA, which detects Aspergillus galactomannan, was tested retrospectively in serial serum samples from an allogeneic bone marrow transplant recipient with proven invasive aspergillosis (patient 1) and another with suspected disease (patient 2). Galactomannan was detected in the serum 4 and 28 days, respectively, before pulmonary infiltrates suggestive of fungal infection first became apparent on the chest X-ray. Aspergillus was detected by ELISA and PCR in BAL fluid samples from both patients, and in CSF from patient 1. The diagnosis was confirmed at autopsy for patient 1 by histopathology and the recovery of Aspergillus fumigatus from the lung and brain. Furthermore, in both patients the course of the antigen titer in the serum during antifungal treatment corresponded with the clinical outcome. These results confirm that the sandwich ELISA appears to be useful for the early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. The value of the test for monitoring the response to antifungal treatment remains to be established in prospective trials.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Fungal / immunology
  • Antigens, Fungal / analysis*
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood
  • Antigens, Fungal / immunology*
  • Aspergillosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis*
  • Aspergillosis / immunology*
  • Aspergillus / genetics
  • Aspergillus / immunology*
  • Aspergillus fumigatus / isolation & purification
  • Autopsy
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Brain / microbiology
  • Brain / pathology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / microbiology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / diagnosis*
  • Lung Diseases, Fungal / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mannans / analysis*
  • Mannans / blood
  • Mannans / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Antibodies, Fungal
  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Mannans
  • galactomannan