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Allergic fungal airway diseases are associated with asthma exacerbations and poor control. However, the early identification of allergic Aspergillus airway diseases can be challenging, especially in resource-poor countries. We aimed to evaluate the clinical utility of the point-of-care Aspergillus IgG-IgM lateral flow assay in diagnosing Aspergillus airway diseases in patients with moderate-severe asthma. Patients with moderate-severe asthma, severe asthma with fungal sensitisation (SAFS) and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) were recruited. Clinical information was extracted from clinical records. Blood samples were collected for serological tests. Serum samples were evaluated using Aspergillus immunochromatographic test (ICT). A total of 65 patients were recruited into the study, of whom 23.1% had clinical diagnosis of ABPA, 18.5% had SAFS and 58.5% had moderate-to-severe asthma who did not fit ABPA or SAFS criteria. The ICT test gave a sensitivity of 69 [95% confidence interval: 51-88]% and a specificity of 77 [60-88]% in predicting a positive Aspergillus IgG test. The sensitivity and specificity for a positive Aspergillus IgE were 77 [59-88]% and 86 [71-94]%, respectively. The majority (sensitivity: 87 [62-96]%) of patients with ABPA had positive ICT results, with a specificity of 70%. The negative predictive value was high (95 [82-99]%) with a low negative likelihood ratio (< 0.2), making it potentially useful in ruling out ABPA. The ICT assay may be valuable in ruling out ABPA in resource-limited countries where serological investigations are less feasible. The ICT assay may be particularly useful in ruling out ABPA and warrants further validation.
- severe asthma