Clinical performance of the (1,3)-β-D-glucan assay in early diagnosis of nosocomial candida bloodstream infections

Valerio Del Bono, Emanuele Delfino, Elisa Furfaro, Malgorzata Mikulska, Elena Nicco, Paolo Bruzzi, Alessandra Mularoni, Matteo Bassetti, Claudio Viscoli

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Microbiological diagnosis of nosocomial candidemia is negatively affected by suboptimal culture yield. Alternative methods are not fully reliable as an aid in candidemia diagnosis. Recently, the detection of (1,3)-β-D-glucan (BG) has been shown to be very promising in this setting. We carried out a prospective study on the clinical usefulness of BG detection in early diagnosis of candidemia. BG detection was performed in patients with fever unresponsive to antibacterial agents and risk factors for candidemia. BG detection was done with the Fungitell test. A total of 152 patients were included in the study; 53 were proven to have candidemia, while in 52 patients candidemia was excluded on microbiological and clinical bases. The remaining 47 patients were considered to have possible candidemia. In summary, 41 of 53 candidemia patients (77.3%), 9 of 52 patients without candidemia (17.3%), and 38 of 47 patients with possible candidemia (80.8%) were positive in the BG assay. With these results, the sensitivity and the specificity of the assay were 77% and 83%, respectively. BG levels of >160 pg/ml were highly predictive of candidemia. In 36 of 41 patients with candidemia and positive BG testing, the BG assay was performed within 48 h from when the first Candida-positive blood sample for culture was drawn, thus allowing a possible earlier start of antifungal therapy. Based on these results, the BG assay may be used as an aid in the diagnosis of nosocomial candidemia. The timing of assay performance is critical for collecting clinically useful information. However, the test results should be associated with clinical data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2117
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Microbiology (medical)


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