Popsicles May Be Delicious, But They Can Also Lead to a False Positive Fungal Test Result

Popsicles may be a delicious snack to eat during a hot summer day; however, eating too much can lead to false testing results.

According to a recent case report, a woman who had just received a bone marrow transplant tested positive for a severe fungal infection, but wasn’t actually infected. Typically, when patients undergo organ transplants they are regularly tested for infections to make sure the treatment had gone successfully.

In this case, the patients’ test results came back positive for a dangerous infection called aspergilosis, which is caused by mold. Even though her test results came back positive, doctors spent time conducting scans and failed to trace any signs of the fungus within the patient’s body. Over the course of three consecutive days, the patients’ test results kept coming back positive. After treating the patient with anti-fungal drugs, doctors realized that the test used to identify aspergilosis, also picks up on food additives commonly used in ice cream. Her doctors were later able to discover that the patient had been eating nearly three to four popsicles per day.

Once the patient took a break from eating so many popsicles, she no longer tested positive for the infection.