Serum Aspergillus galactomannan antigen testing by sandwich ELISA: practical use in neutropenic patients

J Infect. 1997 Jul;35(1):7-15. doi: 10.1016/s0163-4453(97)90833-1.


The double sandwich ELISA detecting Aspergillus galactomannan (GM) was prospectively evaluated for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in 50 haematological patients at risk for IA. Serum samples were collected once weekly as long as the risk factors persisted. Six patients had proven or probable IA (3 A. fumigatus, 1 A. flavus, 1 A. niger, 1 A. ustus) and the GM titres were parallel to the clinical evolution of IA. Six of nine patients with suspected IA had at least two consecutive serum GM titres above 1 ng/ml and died with increasing titres, whereas the GM-negative patients survived. Positive GM titres did not anticipate the isolation of fungi. Unfortunately, positive GM titres did not anticipate the initiation of antifungal therapy, based on clinical suspicion. Moreover, if a true-positive result was defined as two consecutive positive serum samples, four patients out of 35 without proven, probable or suspected IA were positive. Then, the rate of false-positive results was high (12%) in the range previously reported. Nevertheless, the GM ELISA appears useful to assess IA and to follow the efficacy of antifungal treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia, Aplastic / complications
  • Antigens, Fungal / blood*
  • Aspergillosis / diagnosis*
  • Aspergillosis / etiology
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillus / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay*
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / complications
  • Male
  • Mannans / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / complications*
  • Neutropenia / etiology
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antigens, Fungal
  • Mannans
  • galactomannan