Evolution of Cryptococcal Antigen Testing: What Is New?
Over the last decade, an upsurge in both the frequency and severity of fungal infections due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the use of immunosuppressive therapy has occurred. Even diagnostic methods like culture and microscopy, which have low sensitivity and longer turnaround times, are not widely available, leading to delays in timely antifungal therapy and detrimental patient outcomes. The evolution of cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) testing to develop inexpensive and more sensitive methods to detect cryptococcal antigen is significant. These newer tests employ immunoassays as part of point-of-care platforms, which do not require complex laboratory infrastructure, and they have the potential to detect early disease and reduce time to diagnosis of cryptococcal infection. Advocacy for widely available and efficacious life-saving antifungal treatment should be the only remaining challenge.
KeywordsCryptococcus Antigen Testing Lateral flow Assay HIV Diagnosis Thermal contrast Fungus Cryptococcal disease Cryptococcal meningitis
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Elizabeth Nalintya, Reuben Kiggundu, and David Meya declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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