Aspergillus antigen ELISA
The Aspergillus Antigen ELISA (EUROIMMUN) provides in vitro determination of Aspergillus spp. to support the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis (IA), a life-threatening infection in immunocompromised patients. The ELISA is especially suited for screening high-risk patients. The CE-marked assay is based on a monoclonal antibody for the detection of the Aspergillus-specific galactomannoprotein, which is produced during active fungal growth. The analysis is performed on patient serum or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Results can be evaluated either quantitatively in pg/ml using a 6-point calibration curve or semiquantitatively by means of a cut-off ratio. Semiautomated processing is available, for example using the EUROIMMUN Analyzer I. In a recently published clinical study with sera from patients with proven IA as well as control sera, the EUROIMMUN Aspergillus Antigen ELISA yielded comparable sensitivity and specificity to another commercially available Aspergillus antigen test (Dichtl et al, J Cli Microbiol 2019). Aspergillus spp. is a ubiquitous sac fungus, which is found in soil or compost or on damp walls. Inhalation of the spores can lead to severe disseminated infections with a high mortality in individuals with a weakened immune system. In particular, infections affecting the nervous system are nearly always fatal. High-risk groups requiring regular monitoring include patients with neutropenia, leukemia or advanced AIDS, as well as bone-marrow or organ transplant recipients. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of IA are crucial for survival. Since clinical and radiological signs of IA are often non-specific, additional diagnostic tests such as antigen detection and culture are nearly always required to substantiate diagnosis.