Development and Evaluation of Rapid Urinary Antigen Detection Tests for Diagnosis of Penicilliosis Marneffei
Desakorn V., Simpson AJH., Wuthiekanun V., Sahassananda D., Rajanuwong A., Pitisuttithum P., Howe PA., Smith MD., White NJ.
ABSTRACT Penicilliosis, caused by the dimorphic fungus Penicillium marneffei , is an important opportunistic systemic fungal infection affecting immunocompromised individuals living in areas where penicilliosis is endemic. We have demonstrated previously that a urinary enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with purified rabbit polyclonal antibody against killed whole-fission-form arthroconidia of P. marneffei was specific and highly sensitive for the diagnosis of penicilliosis. In this study, a dot blot ELISA and a latex agglutination (LA) test were developed with the same polyclonal antibody and compared with the ELISA for the detection of P. marneffei urinary antigen. Urine specimens from 37 patients with culture-proven penicilliosis and 300 controls (52 healthy subjects and 248 hospitalized patients without penicilliosis) were tested. Antigen was detected in urine from all 37 (100%) penicilliosis patients by the LA test, 35 (94.6%) penicilliosis patients by the dot blot ELISA, and 36 (97.3%) penicilliosis patients by the ELISA. False-positive results were found by the three assays for 2 (0.7%), 8 (2.7%), and 6 (2%) of 300 controls, respectively. The overall sensitivities of the diagnostic tests were as follows: dot blot ELISA, 94.6%; ELISA, 97.3%; and LA test, 100% (specificities, 97.3, 98, and 99.3%, respectively). The LA test is simple, robust, rapid, and convenient and should prove to be an important addition to the existing diagnostic tests for penicilliosis.