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Point-of-care diagnostics for invasive aspergillosis: nearing the finish line

Jeffrey D Jenks, Martin Hoenigl
Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics 2020, 20 (10): 1009-1017

INTRODUCTION: The spectrum of disease caused by Aspergillus spp. is dependent on the immune system of the host, with invasive aspergillosis (IA) its most severe manifestation. Early and reliable diagnosis of Aspergillus disease is important to decrease associated morbidity and mortality from IA.

AREAS COVERED: The following review searched Pub Med for literature published since 2007 and will give an update on the current point-of-care diagnostic strategies for the diagnosis of IA, discuss needed areas of improvement for these tests, and future directions.

EXPERT OPINION: Several new diagnostic tests for IA - including point-of-care tests - are now available to complement conventional galactomannan (GM) testing. In particular, the Aspergillus -specific Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test and the sōna Aspergillus GM Lateral Flow Assay (LFA) are promising for the diagnosis of IA in patients with hematologic malignancy, although further evaluation in the non-hematology setting is needed. In addition, a true point-of-care test, particularly for easily obtained specimens like serum or urine that can be done at the bedside or in the Clinic in a matter of minutes is needed, such as the lateral flow dipstick test, which is under current evaluation. Lastly, improved diagnostic algorithms to diagnose IA in non-neutropenic patients is needed.

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