Volume 79, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The rK39 test is a serologic assay for the rapid diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Serum from a North American cohort of 59 otherwise asymptomatic soldiers with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) was tested with the rK39 dipstick and ELISA assays, and 10.2% and 28.8% had positive results, respectively. CL is associated with a reactive rK39 assay result in some patients without clinical evidence of VL.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. World Health Organization, 2002. Urbanization: an increasing risk factor for leishmaniasis. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 44 : 365–372.
  2. Myles O, Wortmann GW, Cummings JF, Barthel RV, Patel S, Crum-Cianflone NF, Negin NS, Weina PJ, Ockenhouse CF, Joyce DJ, Magill AJ, Aronson NE, Gasser RA, 2007. Visceral leishmaniasis: clinical observations in 4 US Army soldiers deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq, 2002–2004. Arch Intern Med 167 : 1899–1901.
  3. Burns JA, Shreffler WG, Benson DR, Ghalib HW, Badaro R, Reed SG, 1993. Molecular characterization of a kinesin-related antigen of Leishmania chagasi that detects specific antibody in African and American visceral leishmaniasis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 90 : 775–779.
  4. Chappuis F, Rijal S, Alonso S, Menten J, Boelaert M, 2006. A meta-analysis of the diagnostic performance of the direct agglutination test and rK39 dipstick for visceral leishmaniasis. BMJ 333 : 723–727.
  5. Schallig H, Canto-Cavalheiro M, Silva E, 2002. Evaluation of the direct agglutination test and the rK39 dipstick test for the sero-diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 97 : 1015–1018.
  6. Braz R, Nascimento E, Martins D, Wilson ME, Pearson RD, Reed SG, Jeronimo SM, 2002. The sensitivity and specificity of Leishmania chagasi recombinant K39 antigen in the diagnosis of American visceral leishmaniasis and in differentiating active from subclinical infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 67 : 344–348.
  7. Ozensoy S, Ozbel Y, Turgay N, Alkan MZ, Gul K, Gilman-Sachs A, Chang KP, Reed SG, Ozcel MA, 1998. Serodiagnosis and epidemiology of visceral leishmaniasis in Turkey. Am J Trop Med Hyg 59 : 363–369.
  8. Wortmann G, Hochberg L, Houng HH, Sweeney C, Zapor M, Aronson N, Weina P, Ockenhouse CF, 2005. Rapid identification of Leishmania complexes by a real-time PCR assay. Am J Trop Med Hyg 73 : 999–1004.
  9. Kreutzer RD, Semko ME, Hendricks LD, Wright N, 1983. Identification of Leishmania spp. by multiple isozyme analysis. Am J Trop Med Hyg 32 : 703–715.
  10. Zijlstra E, Nur Y, Desjeux P, Khalil EA, El-Hassan AM, Groen J, 2001. Diagnosing visceral leishmaniasis with the recombinant K39 strip test: experience from the Sudan. Trop Med Int Health 6 : 108–113.
  11. Singh S, Kumari V, Singh N, 2002. Predicting kala-azar disease manifestations in asymptomatic patients with latent Leishmania donovani infection by detection of antibody against recombinant K39 antigen. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 9 : 568–572.
  12. Sundar S, Pai K, Sahu M, Kumar V, Murray HW, 2002. Immunochromatographic strip-test detection of anti-K39 antibody in Indian visceral leishmaniasis. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 96 : 19–23.
  13. Menzel S, Bienzle U, 1978. Antibody response in patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis of the Old World. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 29 : 194–197.

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 08 May 2008
  • Accepted : 13 Aug 2008

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error