A Rapid Slide Flocculation Test for the Diagnosis of American Trypanosomiasis Using Trypanosoma Cruzi Fragments Preserved by Lyophilization

Comparison with Hemagglutination, Immunofluorescence, and Complement Fixation Tests

Sumie Hoshino-Shimizu Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, C.P, 2921—São Paulo, Brazil

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Mario E. Camargo Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, C.P, 2921—São Paulo, Brazil

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Eufrosina S. Umezawa Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, C.P, 2921—São Paulo, Brazil

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A slide flocculation test for Chagas' disease is described, which uses a lyophilized, stable antigen obtained by formalin and ultrasonic treatment of culture forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. The test was compared with other tests for the serodiagnosis of American trypanosomiasis and showed a high sensitivity, positive results being obtained in every case of acute or chronic Chagas' disease. In sera from blood donors and from normal individuals with negative T. cruzi antigen complement fixation tests a specificity of 96% was found. False positive flocculation tests were seen, especially in cases of South American blastomycosis and in a few cases of acute toxoplasmosis. Since it is easy and quick to perform, the slide flocculation test can be recommended as a screening procedure, especially for blood banks.

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