Press Releases

Laboratories Must Prepare for Increased Aspergillus Testing Demand in Wake of Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

Full line of Aspergillus fumigatus ELISA test options available from Gold Standard Diagnostics

DAVIS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Gold Standard Diagnostics’ (GSD) comprehensive line of Aspergillus diagnostic tests enables clinical laboratories to prepare as the number of Aspergillus tests ordered is expected to rise significantly in the wake of 17,676 vials of potentially fungus-tainted steroids that have been recalled.

GSD’s complete solution for detection of Aspergillus IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies enables accurate detection of the fungus related to the current proliferation of fungal meningitis. The number of confirmed cases now exceeds 100 across 23 states, and many more cases are possible as symptoms may take up to a month to emerge. Laboratories should immediately procure sufficient Aspergillus tests to meet this expected increase in demand.

Outbreak Background

Steroids tainted with Aspergillus appear to be the cause of the fungal meningitis outbreak that has claimed eight lives and sickened 105, according to the Associated Press. The contaminated steroids were injected as part of back pain management treatment at 75 different clinics. The company responsible for affected medications, NECC, has recalled all of its products, including 17,676 doses of the steroid that is the likely source of the meningitis outbreak.

Aspergillus & Fungal Meningitis Background

Meningitis refers to the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The most common cause of this inflammation is either bacteria or viruses. Additional sources may be physical trauma, parasites, and in the case of the latest meningitis outbreak, a fungus.

Fungal meningitis is not contagious, and is quite rare under normal circumstances. Aspergillus exists frequently in the environment, but typically only immune compromised subjects are at risk of meningitis caused by Aspergillus or any other fungus or mold. In this case, the fungus was injected directly into the bloodstream, making the development of meningitis far more likely.

Fully Automate Aspergillus Testing with the ThunderBolt®

Through a host of patent-pending features, the ThunderBolt® delivers exceptional power and flexibility in a small size. The dual function analyzer provides complete, walk-away automation of 192 patient samples in only a 2’ by 2’ space. Completely open architecture allows any EIA or CLIA protocol to be programmed, and up to eight different protocols to run in a single batch. Intuitive and robust software further enriches the ThunderBolt®, making it the total laboratory automation solution.

GSD’s Aspergillus fumigatus IgG, IgM and IgA assays are fully validated as ThunderBolt-Ready ensuring quick, easy and effective implementation for any laboratory environment.

Contact Gold Standard Diagnostics for more information:

Email: | Phone: (530) 759-8000 | Web:

About Gold Standard Diagnostics:

Gold Standard Diagnostics (GSD) provides comprehensive diagnostic solutions that improve lab efficiency and minimize overall costs. Through an extensive product menu, automated instrument platforms, and outstanding customer service, GSD solves real laboratory problems. The result is a seamless laboratory experience achieved through an integrated approach.

More information is available at

Gold Standard Diagnostics
Cheryl Cink, 530-219-3949

Source: Gold Standard Diagnostics