Comparison of a Novel Rapid Lateral Flow Assay to Enzyme Immunoassay Results for Early Diagnosis of Coccidioidomycosis

Fariba M. Donovan, Ferris A. Ramadan, Sher A. Khan, Apoorva Bhaskara, William D. Lainhart, Aneesh T. Narang, Jarrod M. Mosier, Katherine D. Ellingson, Edward J. Bedrick, Michael A. Saubolle, John N. Galgiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Coccidioidomycosis (CM) is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia where CM is endemic. Manifestations include self-limited pulmonary infection, chronic fibrocavitary pulmonary disease, and disseminated coccidioidomycosis. Most infections are identified by serological assays including enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA), complement fixation, and immunodiffusion. These are time-consuming and take days to result, impeding early diagnosis. A new lateral flow assay (LFA; Sōna; IMMY, Norman, OK) improves time-to-result to 1 hour. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 392 patients with suspected CM, compared the LFA with standard EIA and included procalcitonin evaluation. Results: Compared with standard EIA, LFA demonstrates 31% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI], 20-44%) and 92% specificity (95% CI, 88-95%). Acute pulmonary disease (74%) was the most common clinical syndrome. Hospitalized patients constituted 75% of subjects, and compared with outpatients, they more frequently had ≥3 previous healthcare facility visits (P=.05), received antibacterials (P<.01), and had >3 antibacterial courses (P<.01). Procalcitonin (PCT) was <0.25 ng/mL in 52 (83%) EIA-positive patients, suggesting infection was not bacterial. Conclusions: When CM is a possible diagnosis, LFA identified nearly one-third of EIA-positive infections. Combined with PCT <0.25 ng/mL, LFA could reduce unnecessary antibacterial use by 77%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2746-E2753
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • coccidioidomycosis
  • enzyme immunoassay (EIA)
  • lateral flow assay (LFA)
  • procalcitonin (PCT)
  • valley fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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