Histoplasma capsulatum antigen detection tests as an essential diagnostic tool for patients with advanced HIV disease in low and middle income countries: A systematic review of diagnostic accuracy studies


INTRODUCTION: Disseminated histoplasmosis, a disease that often resembles and is mistaken for tuberculosis, is a major cause of death in patients with advanced HIV disease. Histoplasma antigen detection tests are an important addition to the diagnostic arsenal for patients with advanced HIV disease and should be considered for inclusion on the World Health Organization Essential Diagnostics List. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to systematically review the literature to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of Histoplasma antigen tests in the context of advanced HIV disease, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. METHODS: A systematic review of the published literature extracted data on comparator groups, type of histoplasmosis, HIV status, performance results, patient numbers, whether patients were consecutively enrolled or if the study used biobank samples. PubMed, Scopus, Lilacs and Scielo databases were searched for published articles between 1981 and 2018. There was no language restriction. RESULTS: Of 1327 screened abstracts we included a total of 16 studies in humans for further analysis. Most studies included used a heterogeneousgroup of patients, often without HIV or mixing HIV and non HIV patients, with disseminated or non-disseminated forms of histoplasmosis. Six studies did not systematically use mycologically confirmed cases as a gold standard but compared antigen detection tests against another antigen detection test. Patient numbers were generally small (19-65) in individual studies and, in most (7/10), no confidence intervals were given. The post test probability of a positive or negative test were good suggesting that this non invasive diagnostic tool would be very useful for HIV care givers at the level of reference hospitals or hospitals with the infrastructure to perform ELISA tests. The first results evaluating point of care antigen detection tests using a lateral flow assay were promising with high sensitivity and specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Antigen detection tests are promising tools to improve detection of and ultimately reduce the burden of histoplasmosis mortality in patients with advanced HIV disease


Nacher M, Blanchet D, Bongomin F, Chakrabarti A, Couppie P, Demar M, Denning DW, Djossou F, Epelboin L, Govender N, Leitao T, MacDonald S, Mandengue C, Marques da Silva SH, Oladele R, Panizo MM, Pasqualotto A, Ramos R, Swaminathan S, Rodriguez-Tu JL




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Co-infections
    • Other


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