Researchers identify new test for invasive fungal infection

14 August 2014 

A team of scientists have found a new test that can diagnose a life-threatening fungal infection with 100 per cent accuracy.

The study, published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, will make it easier for patients to recover and get treatment as early diagnosis is key for survival. The report compared three diagnostic tests and found that the combination of nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) to detect aspergillosis resulted in 100 per cent accuracy.

During this retrospective study, a group of scientists evaluated the diagnostic performance of two nucleic acid amplification assays (qPCR and NASBA) and one antigen detection method (galactomannan enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [GM-ELISA]). Some 80 blood samples from patients at high risk of IA were used for the research. It found that, of these 80 participants, 42.5 per cent had proven or probable IA. 

"Traditional diagnostic methods, such as culture and histopathology of infected tissues, often fail to detect aspergillus," comments lead investigator Professor Yun Xia, of the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, China.

They found that combining NASBA and qPCR drastically improved outcomes with a 100 per cent accuracy level.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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