Frontiers in Immunology (2020-02-01)

Evaluation of Cellular Responses for the Diagnosis of Allergic Bronchopulmonary Mycosis: A Preliminary Study in Cystic Fibrosis Patients

  • Moïse Michel,
  • Carine Gomez,
  • Youssouf Sereme,
  • Marion Gouitaa,
  • Céline Chartier,
  • Patricia Blanchard,
  • Simon Pinchemel,
  • Carole Cassagne,
  • Stéphane Ranque,
  • Jean-Louis Mège,
  • Jean-Louis Mège,
  • Martine Reynaud-Gaubert,
  • Martine Reynaud-Gaubert,
  • Joana Vitte,
  • Joana Vitte

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10


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Background: Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis (ABPM) is an underestimated allergic disease due to fungi. Most reported cases are caused by Aspergillus fumigatus (Af) and are referred to as allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). The main risk factor of ABPA is a history of lung disease, such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The main diagnostic criteria for ABPA rely on the evaluation of humoral IgE and IgG responses to Af extracts, although these cannot discriminate Af sensitization and ABPA. Moreover, fungi other than Af have been incriminated. Flow cytometric evaluation of functional responses of basophils and lymphocytes in the context of allergic diseases is gaining momentum.Objectives: We hypothesized that the detection of functional responses through basophil and lymphocyte activation tests might be useful for ABPM diagnosis. We present here the results of a pilot study comparing the performance of these cellular assays vs. usual diagnostic criteria in a cystic fibrosis (CF) cohort.Methods:Ex vivo basophil activation test (BAT) is a diagnostic tool highlighting an immediate hypersensitivity mechanism against an allergen, e.g., through CD63 upregulation as an indirect measure of degranulation. Lymphocyte stimulation test (LST) relies on the upregulation of activation markers, such as CD69, after incubation with allergen(s), to explain delayed hypersensitivity. These assays were performed with Af, Penicillium, and Alternaria extracts in 29 adult CF patients.Results: BAT responses of ABPA patients were higher than those of sensitized or control CF patients. The highest LST result was for a woman who developed ABPA 3 months after the tests, despite the absence of specific IgG and IgE to Af at the time of the initial investigation.Conclusion: We conclude that basophil and lymphocyte activation tests could enhance the diagnosis of allergic mycosis, compared to usual humoral markers. Further studies with larger cohorts and addressing both mold extracts and mold relevant molecules are needed in order to confirm and extend the application of this personalized medicine approach.