We are reporting the result of an investigation in immunodiagnosis of opportunistic fungus infections. The number of patients who were detected with candidal mannan antigens and antibodies to candida were 8 (75%) and 3 (12.5%) in 24 patients with disseminated candidiasis or infection of the lung. Results of tests by two latex agglutination kits with sera obtained from patients with and without candidiasis recognized that the efficiency was 81.5% in kit A (mannan detection kit from Kyokuto Pharmaceutical Industrial Corporation) and 64.6% in kit B (intracytoplasmic protein detection kit from Ramco Laboratories), respectively. In 11 cases with aspergilloma, aspergillus antibodies were detected in 10 cases (90.9%) by CIE and/or ID. All of 6 cases with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis were detected galactomannan antigen by using PASTOREX®-Aspergillus, while in 14 cases with clinically suspected aspergillus pneumonia, 3 cases (21.4%) were detected galactomannan antigen. Results of antigen detection tests in sera obtained from experimentally pulmonary aspergillosis in mice indicated that detection of antigen is very useful for rapid diagnosis of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. In 11 cases with cryptococcosis, all cases investigated were detected mannan antigen in sera and/or CSF by LA test kit from Eiken Co., Ltd.
GL-T, a fraction of extract from fruiting bodies of a fungus, Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi, Ling-Zhi in China) was found to induce protective activity against Candida albicans infection in mice. Of the treatment schedules tested, intraperitoneal administration and premedication were most effective. GL-T stimulated macrophage functions such as phagocytosis and also increased delayed type hypersensitivity and antibody formation in mice. Production of interferons (IFNs) by GL-T was also confirmed, but TNF production was not detectable. The in vivo increased protective activity was abolished by treatment with carrageenan. Possible effectors which may be important in defending against the infection of C. albicans were discussed.