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Development of a simple and economical diagnostic test for canine leishmaniasis.

Exp Parasitol; 182: 9-15, 2017 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28867354
Visceral leishmaniasis is a public health problem worldwide. The early diagnosis in dogs is crucial, since they are an epidemiologically relevant reservoir of the disease. The aim of a field study is to early identify the disease allowing rapid intervention to reduce its effects. We propose an immunoagglutination test as a visual in situ method for diagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis. Latex-protein complexes were sensitized by covalent coupling of a chimeric recombinant antigen of Leishmania spp. onto polystyrene latex with carboxyl functionality. The reaction time and the antigen concentration under which the immunoagglutination assay shows greater discrimination between the responses of a positive control serum and a negative control serum were determined. Then, the latex-protein complexes were evaluated as a visual diagnostic tool with a panel of 170 sera. The test may be read between 2 and 5 min and can be performed even using sera with elevated concentration of lipids, bilirubin or with variable percentage of hemolysis. The sensitivity, the specificity and the diagnostic accuracy were 78%; 100% and >80%, respectively. The visual immunoagglutination test is of potential application as a method for field studies because it shows results in less than 5 min, it is easy to implement and does not require sophisticated equipment.