Background: Fungal infections of the central nervous system (FICNS) are important causes of morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised pediatric patients. Standard diagnostic modalities lack the sensitivity for detecting and therapeutically monitoring these life-threatening diseases. Current molecular methods remain investigational. (1→3)-β-d-glucan (BDG) is a cell wall component found in several fungal pathogens, including Candida and Aspergillus spp. Detecting BDG in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be an important approach for detecting and therapeutically monitoring FICNS. To date, there has been no study that has investigated the effectiveness of CSF BDG as a diagnostic and therapeutic marker of FICNS in children. Methods: Serial BDG levels were measured in serum and CSF samples obtained from pediatric patients (aged 0-18 years) with a diagnosis of probable or proven Candida or Aspergillus CNS infection. Results: Nine cases of FICNS were identified in patients aged 1 month to 18 years. Two patients were infected with an Aspergillus species, and 7 patients were infected with a Candida species. All the patients at baseline had detectable BDG in their CSF. Among 7 patients who completed therapy for an FICNS, all elevated CSF BDG levels decreased to <31 pg/mL. At the time of this writing, 1 patient was still receiving therapy and continued to have elevated BDG levels. One patient died from overwhelming disseminated candidiasis. The lengths of therapy for these 9 children ranged from 2 weeks to 28 months. Conclusion: The BDG assay is useful in diagnosing and therapeutically monitoring Candida and Aspergillus CNS infections in pediatric patients.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2016|
- Central nervous system
- Fungal infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas