A novel inhibition ELISA for the detection and monitoring of Penicillium marneffei antigen in human serum

K. Prakit, J. D. Nosanchuk, K. Pruksaphon, N. Vanittanakom, S. Youngchim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The thermally dimorphic fungus Penicillium marneffei is a causative agent of penicilliosis marneffei, a disease considered to be an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-defining illness in Southeast Asia and southern China. We have developed an inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (inh-ELISA) incorporating the yeast phase specific mannoprotein-binding monoclonal antibody 4D1 for the detection of P. marneffei infection. In our sample set, the test detected antigenemia in all 45 (100 %) patients with P. marneffei, with a mean antigen concentration of 4.32 μg/ml. No cross-reactivity in this assay was found using serum from 44 additional patients with other fungal infections, such as Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Candida albicans, as well as 44 patients with bacterial infections, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Streptococcus suis. Additionally, no reactivity occurred using serum from 31 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients without a history of fungal infections and 113 healthy controls residing in endemic areas. To investigate the potential of the inh-ELISA for disease monitoring, we followed the reduction in antigenemia in six patients who clinically responded to itraconazole and P. marneffei was no longer isolated from their blood or tissues. In contrast, we correlated increased concentrations of antigenemia in patients with relapsed P. marneffei infection with the progression of their clinical symptoms and the isolation of P. marneffei from their clinical specimens. In summary, the P. marneffei inh-ELISA is a promising new assay for the rapid diagnosis of P. marneffei, as well as a tool for evaluating clinical response and clearance of the fungus during treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-656
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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