Aspergillus fumigatus, a widely distributed fungus, has been implicated in causing life threatening infections as well as severe asthma and allergic diseases in man. Allergic affliction like allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a disabling lung disease frequently seen in patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis. Immunodiagnosis of the former is comparatively easier due to the availability of purified antigens and sensitive methods. However, this is not true with cystic fibrosis patients where the prevalence of ABPA is fairly high and the morbidity and mortality are significant.
In the present study, we have evaluated purified recombinant allergens from A. fumigatus, namely Asp f 1, f 2, f 3, f 4, and f 6 using ELISA and a semi-automated method (ImmunoCAP). We studied 17 patients each from cystic fibrosis with ABPA, and cystic fibrosis with asthma, 22 cystic fibrosis with no ABPA or asthma, and 11 age matched controls.
The results indicate that no antigen, antibody or method is capable of differentiating cystic fibrosis (CF) with ABPA from other CF patients, although some allergens showed strong reaction or showed more prevalence among the patients studied.
When results of several allergens such as Asp f 1, f 2, f 3, f 4, and f 6 in their binding to IgA, IgG, and IgE antibodies were analyzed, a more strong discrimination of CF patients with ABPA was possible from the other groups studied.