Volume 68, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


This study evaluated the performance of recombinant K39 (rK39) antigen in a immunochromatographic format (strip test) and a crude antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in the diagnosis of Brazilian visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in 128 consecutive patients with parasitologically proven infections (by microscopy and/or culture). For each patient, a medical history was obtained and a complete physical examination was performed. Controls included 10 healthy volunteers and 50 patients with other diseases: malaria (10), leprosy (9), Chagas’ disease (10), tuberculosis (10), and cutaneous leishmaniasis (11). The sensitivities of the rK39 antigen strip test and the ELISA were 90% and 89%, respectively, while the specificities were 100% and 98%, respectively. Our study confirms the accuracy of the rK39 antigen strip test in the diagnosis of VL in a high prevalence population.


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  • Received : 07 Aug 2002
  • Accepted : 09 Dec 2002

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