Czech Mycology 48(1): 21–29             Article published: 16th May, 1995 doi: 10.33585/cmy.48104


Merits and limitations of immunodiagnostic assays for systemic mycoses.

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The incidence of systemic fungal diseases has increased significantly over the last decade. During that time considerable work has been done on isolating and characterizing new antigens and developing technology. However, few new immunodiagnostic tests for the mycoses have come into routine use. Most of the currently used immunodiagnostic tests are designed to detect antibodies to specific fungal pathogens. These tests, though far from optimal, have proved useful for diagnosing aspergillosis, blastomycosis, candidiasis, histoplasmosis and other mycotic infections mainly in the immunocompetent host. They may, however, exhibit cross-reactivity, and fail to distinguish active form past infection, and colonization from invasive disease. More recently, attention has been devoted to developing antigen detection procedures. While such procedures have been successfully developed for cryptococcosis and histoplasmosis, those for the opportunistic mycoses, i.e. aspergillosis and candidiasis have been generally unsatisfactory. Their insensitivity, resulting from the transient nature of the antigen(s) detected or failure to test for a battery of diagnostic antigens. To overcome these problems, current research has focused on the use of more purified antigens, monoclonal or adsorbed polyclonal antibodies, and the refinement or introduction more sensitive assays. An overview of the immunodiagnostic tests currently used, their value and shortcomings will be presented.

Keywords:     Systemic mycoses, immunodiagnostic tests, aspergillosis, blastomycosis, candidiasis, histoplasmosis

Full citation:

Kaufman L. (1995): Merits and limitations of immunodiagnostic assays for systemic mycoses. – Czech Mycology 48(1): 21–29. copy to clipboard

doi: 10.33585/cmy.48104

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