Indian J Sex Transm Dis Indian J Sex Transm Dis
Official Publication of the Indian Association for the Study of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indian J Sex Transm Dis
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-18

Evaluation of point of care serum cryptococcal antigen by lateral flow immunoassay for diagnosis of cryptococcosis and cryptococcal meningitis in HIV-positive patients

1 Department of Medicine, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Medical Mycology, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Brijesh Sharma
Department of Medicine, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijstd.IJSTD_94_19

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Background: Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is the initial acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) defining illness in 2% of patients with CD4 levels <100/μL and a leading cause of mortality in AIDS in the developing world. It is the most common opportunistic infection of the central nervous system in AIDS in various Indian studies. Detection of serum cryptococcal antigen (SCRAG) is the most widely used diagnostic method for cryptococcosis.The presence of cerebrospinal fluid cryptococcal antigen (CSF CRAG) is diagnostic of CM. CRAG can be determined by latex agglutination (LAT), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and now, by lateral flow (LFA)immunoassay. LFA is a point of care test that rapidly detects CRAG. Aims and Objectives: This study compares LAT and LFA for the detection of serum CRAG and diagnosing CM. Materials and methods: Two hundred and ten patients of HIV/AIDS were submitted to SCRAG LFA by dipstick. A sample was also sent to laboratory for SCRAG by LAT. CSF examination was done for those who were positive for SCRAG LFA and those who had symptoms suggestive of meningitis. SCRAG by LFA was compared with SCRAG by LAT, CSF CRAG by LAT and LFA, CSF cryptococcal culture and CSF India ink examination for Cryptococcus. Results: Fifteen patients were found positive for SCRAG by LFA dipstick. All of them were also positive for SCRAG by LAT. Twelve of them had C. D4 count below below 100 cells/mm3. CSF CRAG was positive in all 12 SCRAG positive who were submitted to CSF examination. Conclusion: We found that serum detection of CRAG by LFA dipstick is as sensitive as CRAG detection in serum by LAT and CSF CRAG detection by LFA and LAT. It is thus a rapid test for diagnosing CM in HIV patients with low CD4 counts.

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