, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1315-1325
Date: 30 Jun 2012

Value of β-d-glucan and Candida albicans germ tube antibody for discriminating between Candida colonization and invasive candidiasis in patients with severe abdominal conditions



To assess the value of (1→3)-β-d-glucan (BDG), Candida albicans germ tube antibody (CAGTA), C-reactive protein (CRP), and procalcitonin (PCT) levels for the diagnosis of invasive candidiasis (IC) and for differentiating Candida spp. colonization from infection in ICU patients with severe abdominal conditions (SAC).


Prospective study of 176 non-neutropenic patients, with SAC at ICU admission, and expected to stay at least 7 days. Surveillance cultures and BDG, CAGTA, CRP, and PCT levels were performed on the third day of ICU stay and twice a week for four consecutive weeks. Patients were grouped into invasive candidiasis (IC), Candida colonization, and neither colonized/nor infected. The classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to predict IC in colonized patients. The discriminatory ability of the obtained prediction rule was assessed by the area under the ROC curve (AUC).


The probabilities of IC were 59.3 % for the terminal node of BDG greater than 259 pg/mL and 30.8 % for BDG less than 259 pg/mL and CAGTA positivity, whereas there was a 93.9 % probability in predicting the absence of IC for BDG less than 259 pg/mL and negative CAGTA. Using a cutoff of 30 % for IC probability, the prediction rule showed 90.3 % sensitivity, 54.8 % specificity, 42.4 % positive predictive value, and 93.9 % negative predictive value with an AUC of 0.78 (95 % confidence interval 0.76–0.81). Significant differences in CRP (p = 0.411) and PCT (p = 0.179) among the studied groups were not found.


BDG with a positive test for CAGTA accurately differentiated Candida colonization from IC in patients with SAC, whereas CRP and PCT did not.

On behalf of the CAVA II Study Group. The members of the CAVA II Study Group are given in the Appendix.
In memory of Prof. José Pontón, who described the CAGTA technique.
Presented in part at the 24th Annual Congress of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Berlin, Germany, 1–5 October 2011.