Despite aggressive treatment, vascular pythiosis has a mortality rate of 40%. This is due to delays in diagnosis and a lack of effective monitoring tools. To overcome this drawback, serum beta-D-glucan (BG) and P. insidiosum-specific antibody (Pi-Ab) were examined as potential monitoring markers in vascular pythiosis. A prospective cohort study of vascular pythiosis patients was carried out from January 2010 to July 2016. Clinical information and blood samples were collected and evaluated by the BG and Pi-Ab assays. Linear mixed-effect models were used to compare BG and Pi-Ab levels. The in vitro susceptibility test was performed with all P. insidiosum isolates from culture-positive cases. A total of 50 patients were enrolled: 45 survived and 5 died during follow-up. The survivors had a significantly shorter time to medical care (P 0.0001) and a significantly shorter waiting time to the first surgery (P 0.0001). There were no differences in BG levels among the groups at diagnosis (P 0.33); however, BG levels among survivors were significantly lower than those of the deceased group at 0.5 months (P 0.0001) and became undetectable after 3 months. Survivors were able to maintain an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) value (EV) of Pi-Ab above 8, whereas the EV among deceased patients was less than 4. In vitro susceptibility results revealed no synergistic effects between itraconazole and terbinafine. This study showed that BG and Pi-Ab are potentially valuable markers to monitor the disease after treatment initiation. An unchanged BG level at 2 weeks after surgery should prompt an evaluation for residual disease.
- P. insidiosum-specific antibody
- Therapeutic monitoring
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)