Antibody testing in aspergillosis – quo vadis?

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Humans are constantly exposed to airborne Aspergillus spores. Most develop Aspergillus-specific antibodies by adulthood. Persons with chronic lung disease or Aspergillus airway colonization often have raised levels of Aspergillus-specific IgG. It is not known whether this signifies an increased risk of future aspergillosis. Chronic and allergic forms of pulmonary aspergillosis are estimated to affect over three million people worldwide. Antibody testing is central to diagnosis of these conditions, with raised Aspergillus-specific IgG in chronic pulmonary aspergillosis and raised Aspergillus-specific IgE in allergic aspergillosis. Antibody levels are also used to monitor treatment response in these syndromes. Acute invasive disease is less common. There is a more limited role for antibody testing in this setting as immunosuppression often results in delayed or absent antibody response. Many methods exist to detect Aspergillus-specific antibodies, but there are limited published data regarding comparative efficacy and reproducibility. We discuss the comparative merits of the available tests in the various clinical settings and their suitability for use in the resource-poor settings where the majority of cases of aspergillosis are thought to occur. We summarise the gaps in existing knowledge and opportunities for further study that could allow optimal use of antibody testing in this field
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Mycology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • ABPA
  • CPA
  • aspergillosis
  • aspergillus
  • serology


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