Early recognition and diagnosis of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is critical to improve patient symptoms, and antifungal therapy may prevent or delay progression of bronchiectasis and development of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis.
A recently commercialized lateral flow assay (Aspergillus ICT) (LDBio Diagnostics, Lyons, France) detects Aspergillus-specific antibodies in <30 minutes, requiring minimal laboratory equipment. We evaluated this assay for diagnosis of ABPA compared to diseased (asthma and/or bronchiectasis) controls.
ABPA and control sera collected at the National Aspergillosis Centre (Manchester, UK) and/or from the Manchester Allergy, Respiratory and Thoracic Surgery research biobank were evaluated using the Aspergillus ICT assay. Results were read both visually and digitally (using a lateral flow reader). Serological Aspergillus-specific IgG and IgE, and total IgE titres were measured by ImmunoCAP.
For 106 cases of ABPA versus all diseased controls, sensitivity and specificity for the Aspergillus ICT were 90.6% and 87.2%, respectively. Sensitivity for ‘proven’ ABPA alone (n = 96) was 89.8%, and 94.4% for ‘presumed’ ABPA (n = 18). ‘Asthma only’ controls (no bronchiectasis) and ‘bronchiectasis controls’ exhibited 91.4% and 81.7% specificity, respectively. Comparison of Aspergillus ICT result with Aspergillus-specific IgG and IgE titres showed no evident immunoglobulin isotype bias. Digital measurements displayed no correlation between ImmunoCAP Aspergillus-specific IgE level and ICT test line intensity.
The Aspergillus ICT assay exhibits good sensitivity for ABPA serological screening. It is easy to perform and interpret, using minimal equipment and resources; and provides a valuable simple screening resource to rapidly distinguish more serious respiratory conditions from Aspergillus sensitization alone.