Does ampicillin-sulbactam cause false positivity of (1,3)-beta-D-glucan assay? A prospective evaluation of 15 patients without invasive fungal infections

Metan G., Agkus C., KOÇ A. N., Elmali F., Finkelman M. A.

MYCOSES, vol.55, no.4, pp.366-371, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 55 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.2011.02131.x
  • Journal Name: MYCOSES
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.366-371
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


The purpose of this study was to investigate the interaction between intravenous ampicillin-sulbactam treatment and (1,3)-beta-D-glucan (BDG) assay. Fifteen patients with a median age of 60 (1681) without known risk factors for invasive fungal infections who received a daily dose of 3 X 2 g ampicillin-sulbactam monotherapy from different batches were included in the study. Thirteen patients had soft tissue infections. The 5 of 13 patients who went under surgery had surgical dressings. Serum samples were obtained both before and after antibiotic infusion on the first, third, seventh and tenth days of an ampicillin-sulbactam treatment course. BDG was assayed using the Fungitell kit (Associates of Cape Cod, East Falmouth, MA, USA) according to manufacturers specifications. All serum samples were also tested for galactomannan (GM) antigenemia by Platelia Aspergillus ELISA (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Marnes-la-Coquette, France). A total of 37 of 117 serum samples were positive for BDG at a threshold of 80 pg ml-1. Seven of 37 BDG positive serum samples had a GM index =0.5. When a cutoff value of =0.5 was used for GM positivity, 16 (13.3%) serum samples were positive. For a cutoff value of =0.7, eight (6.6%) serum samples were positive. There were no statistically significant differences in the median BDG levels (P = 0.47) or median GM indices (P = 0.28) of the various sampling times. None of the SAM vials tested positive for BDG or GM. After ruling out fungal infections and all known potential causes of false BDG positivity, environmental contamination remained possible cause of BDG reactivity. We did not observe any significant association of ampicillin-sulbactam administration and positive assays for BDG or GM.