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Technical Literature

The Candida albicans IgM, IgA and IgG tests are rapid ELISA methods for the detection of  IgM, IgA or IgG antibodies to Candida albicans.  They are intended for the diagnosis of Candida albicans infection.  The components of the tests are for in vitro diagnostic use only.
A number of fungal pathogens can spread systemically from the intestinal lumen to the visceral organs. Although hundreds of Candida species are known, C. albicans and C. tropicalis cause over 80% of Candida infections in man. Candida probably enters the newborn in the first days of life and is a normal inhabitant of the gut. Systemic candidiasis is a fungal infection of the deep organs resulting from the overgrowth and spread of Candida. It is a significant cause of death in immuno-compromised patients or those undergoing prolonged antibiotic therapy.  Candida infection is not routinely tested for in blood donors and may also be transmitted via blood transfusions.  Elevated Candida IgG levels are also frequently encountered in elderly patients (>60 years). 

Recent infection with systemic candidiasis is characterised by elevated IgM, IgA and IgG titres.

Principle of the ELISA Candida  test
Diluted serum samples are incubated with C. albicans antigens immobilised on microtitre wells.  After washing away unbound serum components, rabbit anti-human IgA, IgM or IgG conjugated to horseradish peroxidase is added to the wells, and this binds to surface-bound antibodies in the second incubation. Unbound conjugate is removed by washing, and a solution containing 3,3 tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) and enzyme substrate is added to trace specific antibody binding. Addition of stop solution terminates the reaction and provides the appropriate pH for colour development.  The optical densities of the standards, positive control and samples are measured using a microplate reader at 450nm.  Optical density is directly proportional to antibody activity in the sample. 

Further reading:
Faux, J A et al (1992) Comparison of specific IgG antibody levels to the cell wall mannan of Candida albicans in normal individuals and in patients with primary antibody deficiency. J Immunol Methods 153, 167 - 172

McHugh T M et al (1989) Development of a microsphere based fluorescent immunoassay and it comparison to an enzyme immunoassay for the detection of antibodies to three preparations of Candida albicans J Immunol Methods 116, 213-219

Burnie J P et al (1985) Outbreak of systemic Candida albicans  in intensive care unit caused by cross infection. Brit Med J 290, 746-748

Crook, W G (1983) The yeast connection: A medical breakthrough.  Professional Books, PO Box 3494, Jackson, TN 38301

Robinet, RW Asthma due to C. albicans Univ Michigan, Med Centre Bulletin 34, 12 - 15
Ray, TL (1980) Fungal infections in the immuno-compromised host. Med Clin N America 64, 955 - 968.

Wojdani, A M et al (1986) Measurement of humoral and cellular immunity for the diagnosis of Candidiasis. Clin Ecol 4, 210