Utility of (1-3)-b-d-glucan testing for diagnostics and monitoring response to treatment during the multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections

Anastasia P. Litvintseva, Mark D. Lindsley, Lalitha Gade, Rachel Smith, Tom Chiller, Jennifer L. Lyons, Kiran T. Thakur, Sean X. Zhang, Dale E. Grgurich, Thomas M. Kerkering, Mary E. Brandt, Benjamin J. Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. The 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis associated with contaminated methylprednisolone produced by a compounding pharmacy has resulted in >750 infections. An important question facing patients and clinicians is the duration of antifungal therapy. We evaluated (1-3)-b-d-glucan (BDG) as a marker for monitoring response to treatment.Methods. We determined sensitivity and specificity of BDG testing using the Fungitell assay, by testing 41 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from confirmed cases of fungal meningitis and 66 negative control CSF specimens. We also assessed whether BDG levels correlate with clinical status by using incident samples from 108 case patients with meningitis and 20 patients with serially collected CSF.Results. A cutoff value of 138 pg/mL provided 100% sensitivity and 98% specificity for diagnosis of fungal meningitis in this outbreak. Patients with serially collected CSF were divided into 2 groups: those in whom BDG levels declined with treatment and those in whom BDG remained elevated. Whereas most patients with a decline in CSF BDG had clinical improvement, all 3 patients with continually elevated BDG had poor clinical outcomes (stroke, meningitis relapse, or development of new disease).Conclusions. Our data suggest that measuring BDG in CSF is a highly sensitive test for diagnosis of fungal meningitis in this outbreak. Analysis of BDG levels in serially collected CSF demonstrated that BDG may correlate with clinical response. Routine measurement of BDG in CSF may provide useful adjunctive data for the clinical management of patients with outbreak-associated meningitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-630
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • (1-3)-b-d-glucan
  • Exserohilum
  • Fungitell
  • fungal meningitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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