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The dimorphic fungus, Blastomyces dermatitidis, causes blastomycosis. When the organism is inhaled, it causes pulmonary disease-cough, pain, and hemoptysis, along with fever and night sweats. It commonly spreads to the skin, bone, or internal genitalia where suppuration and granulomas are typical. Occasionally, primary cutaneous lesions after trauma are encountered; however, this type of infection is uncommon.
Detection of antibodies in patients having blastomycosis
A positive result indicates that IgG and/or IgM antibodies to Blastomyces were detected. The presence of antibodies is presumptive evidence that the patient was or is currently infected with (or exposed to) Blastomyces.
A negative result indicates that antibodies to Blastomyces were not detected. The absence of antibodies is presumptive evidence that the patient was not infected with Blastomyces. However, the specimen may have been obtained before antibodies were detectable or the patient may be immunosuppressed. If infection is suspected, another specimen should be drawn 7 to 14 days later and submitted for testing.
All specimens testing equivocal will be repeated. Specimens testing equivocal after repeat testing should be submitted for further testing by another conventional serologic test (eg, SBL / Blastomyces Antibody by Immunodiffusion, Serum).
A negative result does not rule out blastomycosis.
Cross-reactivity may occur with other fungal infections such as Aspergillus, Coccidioides, or Histoplasma.
Kaufman L, Kovacs JA, Reiss E: Clinical immunomycology. In Manual of Clinical and Laboratory Immunology. Edited by NR Rose, EC De Macario, JD Folds, et al. Washington DC, ASM Press, 1997, pp 588-589