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The effect of sample storage on the performance and reproducibility of the galactomannan EIA test

Kimpton, George, White, P. Lewis and Barnes, Rosemary Ann 2014. The effect of sample storage on the performance and reproducibility of the galactomannan EIA test. Medical Mycology 52 (6) , pp. 618-626. 10.1093/mmy/myu014

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Galactomannan enzyme immune assay (GM EIA) is a nonculture test for detecting invasive aspergillosis (IA) forming a key part of diagnosis and management. Recent reports have questioned the reproducibility of indices after sample storage. To investigate this, 198 serum samples (72 from cases and 126 from controls) and 61 plasma samples (24 from cases and 37 from controls), initially tested between 2010 and 2013, were retested to determine any change in index. Data were also collected on circulatory protein levels for false-positive serum samples. Serum indices significantly declined on retesting (median: initial, 0.50, retest, 0.23; P < 0.0001). This was shown to be diagnosis dependent as the decline was apparent on retesting of control samples (median: initial 0.50, retest 0.12; P < 0.0001), but was not evident with case samples (median: initial, 0.80, retest, 0.80; P = 0.724). Plasma samples showed little change on reanalysis after long-term storage at 4°C. Retesting after freezing showed a decrease in index values for controls (median: initial 0.40, retest 0.26; P = 0.0505), but no significant change in cases. Circulatory proteins showed a correlation between serum albumin concentration and difference in index value on retesting. Overall, this study suggests that a lack of reproducibility in GM EIA positivity is only significant when disease is absent. Retesting after freezing helps to differentiate false-positive GM EIA results and, with consecutive positivity, could help to improve accuracy in predicting disease status. The freezing of samples prior to testing could potentially reduce false-positivity rates and the need to retest.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
ISSN: 1369-3786
Date of Acceptance: 10 February 2014
Last Modified: 31 May 2019 12:23

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