Performance of the Lateral Flow Assay and the Latex Agglutination Serum Cryptococcal Antigen Test in Cryptococcal Disease in Patients with and without HIV

Matthew A. Hevey, Ige A. George, Adriana M. Rauseo, Lindsey Larson, William Powderly, Andrej Spec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cryptococcal epidemiology is shifting toward HIV-negative populations who have diverse presentations. Cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) testing is also changing, with development of the lateral flow assay (LFA) having reported increased sensitivity and specificity, but with minimal knowledge in the HIV-negative population. In this study, we evaluate the real-life performance of CrAg testing in patients with cryptococcal disease. We conducted a retrospective review of patients with cryptococcosis from 2002 to 2019 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Latex agglutination (LA) was used exclusively until April 2016, at which point LFA was used exclusively. Demographics, presentations, and testing outcomes were evaluated. Serum CrAg testing was completed in 227 patients with cryptococcosis. Of 141 HIV-negative patients, 107 had LA testing and 34 had LFA testing. In patients with disseminated disease, serum CrAg sensitivity by LA was 78.1% compared to 82.6% for LFA. In patients with localized pulmonary disease, serum CrAg sensitivity was 23.5% compared to 90.9% for LFA. Of 86 people living with HIV (PLWH), 76 had LA testing, and 10 had LFA testing. Serum CrAg sensitivity for LA was 94.7% compared to 100% for LFA in patients with disseminated disease. We noted a significant improvement in sensitivity from LA testing to LFA testing, predominantly in those with localized pulmonary disease. However, both LFA and LA appear to be less sensitive in HIV-negative patients than previously described in PLWH.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01563
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Volume58
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Cryptococcal antigen
  • Cryptococcus neoformans
  • Diagnosis
  • Test performance

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