Cryptococcal antigen - serum, CSF

Last updated: Saturday, 03, April, 2004

MBS Online Search Page: Click here for details

Item Process
Specimen

5-10 mL blood or 2 mL CSF in plain tube.

Method

Latex agglutination.

Application

Diagnosis of cryptococcal infection; monitoring response to therapy.

Interpretation

Positive in both serum and CSF in >95% of patients with cryptococcal meningitis; a negative result does not exclude infection.

Antigen levels decrease with effective therapy, but there is a poor correlation between antigen levels and disease activity in HIV positive patients.
Serial testing to monitor response to therapy is not of value in this patient group.

Reference

Mitchell T and Perfect J. Clin Microbiol Rev 1995; 8: 515-548.