Evaluation of Commercially Available Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays for the Diagnosis of Invasive Aspergillosis in Patients with Haematological Malignancies

  • Aylin Erman-DalogluEmail author
  • Betil Ozhak
  • Ozan Salim
  • Ozge Turhan
  • Gozde Ongut
  • Filiz Gunseren
  • Dilek Colak
  • Dilara Ogunc
Original Article


Early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a challenge. Non-specific clinical and radiologic findings, as well as difficulties in conventional diagnostic method application, may delay correct diagnosis. Nowadays, nucleic acid-based assays have reduced the need for conventional antigen detection and culture-based methods and provided new opportunities for patient care. Aspergillus PCR is now included in the latest European Cancer Research and Treatment Organization/Mycosis Study Group definition updates. We evaluated the performance of commercial real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) MycAssay Aspergillus PCR and Artus Aspergillus RG PCR assays and compared the results with galactomannan enzyme immunoassay. During 41 febrile neutropenic episodes, 168 serum samples were collected from 32 patients with haematological malignancies. IA diagnosis was established according to the revised guidelines of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycoses Study Group. Twenty-one probable episodes were identified. There were no proven IA cases in the study. In 20 episodes, patients did not fulfil the established criteria for the IA diagnosis. Artus Aspergillus RG PCR assay had a sensitivity of 47.6% and specificity of 100%, while those of MycAssay Aspergillus PCR were 61.9% and 100%, respectively. Two different PCR assays were used in this study. Although there are many studies that evaluated MycAssay Aspergillus PCR, data regarding Artus Aspergillus RG PCR assay are scarce. We found moderate sensitivity and high specificity in the diagnosis of IA in patients with haematological malignancy in both PCR methods. Our results demonstrated that commercial PCR assays can be applied for the early diagnosis and pre-emptive treatment of IA.


Invasive aspergillosis Galactomannan Polymerase chain reaction Diagnosis Commercial Enzyme immunoassay 



This study was supported by Akdeniz University Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit [Grant Number 2014.04.0103.001].

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of MedicineAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of MedicineAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Haematology, Faculty of MedicineAkdeniz UniversityAntalyaTurkey

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