Evaluation of the Diagnostic Accuracy and Clinical Utility of Fungal Profile Plus Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay in Pulmonary Infections

Clarissa B. Smith, Xiaosong Shi, Rachael M. Liesman, Laura A. Thomas, Nathan C. Bahr, Kyle R. Brownback

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1 Scopus citations


Background: Pulmonary infections due to Aspergillus, Mucorales, and Nocardia have high morbidity and mortality, in part due to diagnostic challenges. Commercially available molecular assays on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) may have increased sensitivity over currently available diagnostic options. Our aim was to characterize the diagnostic performance of assays for each of these pathogens in our patient population. Methods: The medical records of patients whose BALF was tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for Aspergillus, Mucorales, and Nocardia between 2019 and 2021 were reviewed in a cross-sectional manner. European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer and the Mycoses Study Group (EORTC/MSG) definitions of "proven,""probable,"and "possible"infection were used, including histopathology, serology, and culture. We used (1) "proven"or "probable"infection by EORTC criteria, (2) improvement or stabilization on targeted antimicrobial therapy, and (3) absence of a more likely diagnosis as the reference standard. Results: The Aspergillus PCR assay demonstrated the highest agreement with the diagnostic reference standard, with 31.25% (10/32) sensitivity and 97.17% (206/212) specificity. Positive and negative predictive values were 62.50% (10/16) and 90.35% (206/228), respectively. No Mucorales or Nocardia infections were identified by the diagnostic reference standard, so the sensitivity could not be calculated. The specificity of Mucorales and Nocardia targets was 98.35% and 96.69%, respectively. Conclusions: Our data demonstrated relatively poor clinical sensitivity for all 3 constituent PCR assays in our patient population, suggesting a limited role for this test in the diagnosis of Aspergillus, Mucorales, or Nocardia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofac646
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.


  • bronchoscopy
  • immunocompromised
  • invasive fungal infection
  • pulmonary infection


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