New approaches for the detection of invasive fungal diseases in patients following liver transplantation - results of an observational clinical pilot study
Purpose: Despite antifungal prophylaxis following liver transplantation (LTX), patients are at risk for the development of subsequent opportunistic infections, such as an invasive fungal disease (IFD). However, culture-based diagnostic procedures are associated with relevant weaknesses. Methods: Culture and next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based fungal findings as well as corresponding plasma levels of ß-D-glucan (BDG), galactomannan (GM), interferon gamma (IFN-g), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), interleukin (IL)-2, -4, -6, -10, -17A and mid-regional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM) were evaluated in 93 patients at 6 consecutive time points within 28 days following LTX. Results: A NGS-based diagnostic approach was shown to be suitable for the early identification of fungal pathogens in patients following LTX. Moreover, MR-proADM and IL-17A in plasma proved suitable for the identification of patients with an IFD. Conclusion: Plasma measurements of MR-proADM and IL-17A as well as a NGS-based diagnostic approach were shown to be attractive methodologies to attenuate the weaknesses of routinely used culture-based diagnostic procedures for the determination of an IFD in patients following LTX. However, an additional confirmation within a larger multicenter trial needs to be recommended.