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An immunoenzymatic diagnostic technique applicable to cutaneous leishmaniasis is described. The antigen used (Leishmania tropica major) was equally useful in diagnosing visceral and mucocutaneous forms of the disease. The criteria for positivity were defined by using groups of negative controls, and the specificity of the reaction was evaluated by using sera from patients with various diseases. Among these, sera from patients with lepromatous leprosy, tuberculosis, or African trypanosomiasis strongly cross-reacted with leishmania antigen. Examining serial dilutions of the sera facilitated the interpretation of the results and eliminated a significant percentage of false positives.
Present address: Unité de Parasitologie Expérimentale, Institut Pasteur, 25, rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France.