The IMMY CrAg LFA (cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay) is the first immunochromatographic dipstick assay for the qualitative and semiquantitative detection of the cryptococcal capsular antigen in serum, plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Available exclusively in the UK from Alpha Laboratories, it has revolutionised cryptococcal antigen testing, with excellent sensitivity across all serotypes of Cryptococcus. CrAg LFA can detect all four CrAg serotypes, with improved sensitivity for Cryptococcus gattii infections (serotype C).
The test involves five easy steps with no equipment required and no specimen pretreatment. It takes just 10 minutes with less than a minute of hands-on time. The CrAg LFA is easily scaled up to handle multiple samples. It allows for titre determination (semiquantitation) with up to five times greater sensitivity than other cryptococcal antigen tests on the market.
Cryptococcosis, a fungal disease caused by Cryptococcus species complex (C. neoformans [pictured in lung stained with mucicarmine] and C. gattii), is one of the most common HIV-related opportunistic infections. Each year, approximately 1,000,000 cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur globally, resulting in more than 1700 deaths every day. Patients undergoing organ transplantation or aggressive treatment of cancer and connective tissue diseases are also at risk of developing the disease due to immunosuppression.