Leading Edge 2021 Issue 2

12 LEADING EDGE - 2021-2 Rapid Aspergillus GM Testing Jessica Price of Public Health Wales, Mycology Reference Laboratory presented data evaluating the use of the IMMY sõna Aspergillus Galactomannan (GM) lateral flow assay (LFA) with serum samples to aid diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis (IA)1. The retrospective study, using the GM LFA together with the Cube Reader to provide a GM index (GMI), tested samples from 136 patients most of whom were being treated for haematological malignancy. The study generated good overall qualitative agreement between the GM LFA and an established GM enzyme immunoassay (EIA), 89.0%. With the GM LFA demonstrating a sensitivity and specificity of 96.9% and 98% respectively. Quantitatively, GMIs generated by the GM LFA were significantly higher than those produced by the GM EIA. In conclusion, the GM LFA was found to provide a rapid alternative to the current GM EIA, which could improve time to result and improve accessibility for GM testing at non-specialist centres facilitating appropriate patient management. And The Future Holds... We are looking forward to more updates on fungal disease diagnosis and management this Autumn, as we plan to attend the 10th Trends in Medical Mycology2 meeting in Aberdeen, and of course at Mycology 20223 next March. 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC7269407/ 2. https://www.timm2021.org/ 3. https://mycolovvvgyconference.co.uk/ The joint British Society for Medical Mycology (BSMM) and Fungal Update meeting originally planned for March 2020, like many conferences following the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic was sadly postponed. Evolving into a virtual conference, Mycology 2021, the meeting was held in June this year providing a welcome opportunity to hear, and learn, from numerous opinion leaders on the challenges of diagnosing and treating Invasive Fungal Diseases. As may be expected, COVID-19 associated fungal infection (CAFI) was a prominent theme. Shared case studies from the COVID pandemic front line throughout Europe, also including a presentation from India, were a valuable resource to understand and compare the patient management and diagnostic strategies employed at different centres. It was fascinating to listen to insights into evolving diagnostic and patient management pathways, and awareness of the need for antifungal stewardship. Invasive Aspergillus Biomarkers Aspergillus species was a hot topic, not only for COVID-19 associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA) but also for other high risk patient groups such as haemato-oncology and solid organ transplant. The diagnostic importance of biomarkers, such as Galactomannan (GM) & β-D-glucan (BDG), in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) was highlighted. Introduction of rapid tests for such biomarkers would remove the need to batch samples and enable non-specialist centres to test in house, therefore providing faster turnaround times as part of their diagnostic strategies. A30 minute test time AHigh sensitivity and specificity ASerum and BAL specimens ADedicated assay reader APos/Neg and index value display ASimplified procedure For more information on the sõna Aspergillus Galactomannan Lateral Flow Assay (Asp GM LFA) immunochromatographic test system, please visit: www.alphalabs.co.uk/af2003 SÕNA ASPERGILLUS GALACTOMANNAN Lateral Flow Assay