Aspergillus antigen detection two years before (2018-2019) and during COVID-19 pandemics (2020-2022) in Latvia

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPoster presentation


Aspergillus infection usually start in the lungs as the port of entry following inhalation of Aspergillus spores which are present in the environment. Invasive forms, which have been on the increase for the past 10 years, constitute the most serious infections. They mainly occur in neutropenic patients, patients with severe lung condition and in patients treated with immunosuppressants and corticosteroids. The diagnosis is often based on nonspecific diagnostic or radiological evidence (clinical symptoms, computed tomography scan, chest x-ray, etc.). The test for soluble galactomannan antigen in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) appears to be a serological method able to aid in the diagnosis of Invasive Aspergillosis.
The aim of the study was to analyse Aspergillus Ag detection in NRL of Latvia in 2018-2019 and in 2020-05.2022.
In 2018-2019 680 samples and in 2020-05.2022 2285 samples were tested in NRL of Latvia to detect Aspergillus Ag by ELISA FungiXpert Aspergillus Galactomannan test system. Sample’s materials were blood serum and BAL.
We obtained 80/680 (11.8%) positive Aspergillus Ag results in 2018-2019 and 376/2285 (16.5%) in 2020-05.2022. The male/female ratio was 48/32 (2018-2019) and 225/151 (2020-05.2020). The age ranged from 1 month to 80 years, with a median age of 54 years (2018-2019) and 1 month to 91 years, with a median age of 57 years (2020-05.2022). Of the total, 16.2% (13/80) were children (aged 1 month -17 years) and 83.8% (67/80) were adults (aged 18-80) in 2018-2019 and 19.9% (75/376) were children (aged 1 month - 17 years) and 80.1% (301/376) were adults (aged 18-91) in 2020-05.2022. The analysis of data showed that 35% (28/80) positive Aspergillus Ag was detected in BAL and 65% (52/80) in blood serum (2018-2019) and 28.2% (106/376) in BAL and 71.8% (270/376) in blood serum (2020-05.2022).
During COVID-19 pandemics Aspergillus Ag testing increased by 54% and positive cases 65%. The age range was similar in two periods but male/female ratio was 3:2. Aspergillus Ag test has the potential to overcome invasive aspergillosis detection on time and results allow clinicians to start an appropriate therapy.
Period22 Sept 202224 Sept 2022
Event titleXVI Baltic Congress in Laboratory Medicine
Event typeCongress
Conference number16
LocationTallinn, EstoniaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational