Assessment of the Sensitivity, Specificity, and Reproducibility of the Indirect Immunofluorescent Technique for the Diagnosis of Amebiasis

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  • Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) test was used to study antibody titers to Entamoeba histolytica in various manifestations of clinical amebiasis by comparing the results with parasitological and clinical data from confirmed cases. The sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of this test for diagnosis were also studied. A high degree of correlation was found between reactivity in the IIF test and confirmed cases of amebic liver abscess. A positivity rate of 96% in sera of confirmed cases of amebic liver abscess in the present study compares favorably with the results of other workers. The IIF test is very useful in the diagnosis of hepatic amebiasis but is less sensitive for amebic dysentery. The test could not be used to differentiate between hepatic amebiasis and amebic dysentery. The IIF test was insensitive for amebic colitis and of no diagnostic value. Specificity and reproducibility of the test were good, as shown by results obtained with sera from patients with parasitic infections other than amebiasis.