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Evaluation of a Candida antigen detection method (Cand-Tec): Experience from a university teaching hospital

By Todd J Anderson, Heather E Bryant and Deirdre L Church


The usefulness of a rapid latex agglutination method for the detection of Candida antigen (Cand-Tec; Ramco Laboratories. Texas) was retrospectively assessed in a university teaching hospital over a one year period. Patients were enrolled when the managing physician requested Cand-Tec testing for confirmation of possible invasive candidal infection. The majority of patients were critically ill; 56% were in the intensive care unit, and 30% subsequently died. Analyses were available from 79 patients and 125 samples. Thirty-three patients were diagnosed as having either definite invasive candidiasis or a high probability of infection based upon clinical, microbiological and tissue criteria. The sensitivity and specificity of Candida antigen detection was determined for doubling titres ≥1:4 to ≥1:16. If a titre of ≥1:4 was used as the diagnostic cut-off level for definite candidal infection, overall sensitivity and specificity were 77% and 69%, respectively, while the positive predictive value was 48%, and the negative predictive value 89%. When patients with a high probability of invasive candidal infection were included in analyses for a cut-off titre of ≥1:4, overall sensitivity and specificity were 70% and 69%, respectively, while the positive predictive value was 68%, and the negative predictive value 71%. The usefulness of the Cand-Tec test was not improved further for any subgroup of patients (including those in the intensive care unit), nor by following serial titres in individual patients. In this experience, the Cand-Tec test did not add enough information to include definitively or exclude invasive candidiasis in this high risk general patient population

Topics: Original Article
Publisher: Pulsus Group Inc
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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