Diagnosis of Trypanosoma Cruzi Infection by Complement Fixation

Elmer F. ChaffeeDepartment of Serology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D. C.

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Earl H. Fife Jr.Department of Serology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D. C.

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John F. KentDepartment of Serology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D. C.

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Summary

An improved antigen for the complement fixation test was prepared by extracting desiccated, cultured T. cruzi with anhydrous ether in the cold (-15° to -18° C.) prior to final extraction with alkaline buffer. Preliminary extraction with ether markedly reduced the tendency of the antigen to react with sera from syphilitic and healthy individuals, and had no appreciable effect upon its capacity to react specifically with antibody produced in American trypanosomiasis (Chagas' disease).

Persons infected with L. brasiliensis could not be differentiated from individuals with American trypanosomiasis on the basis of their serologic reactions with T. cruzi antigen.

Author Notes

Present address, Fifth Army Medical Laboratory, St. Louis 2, Missouri.

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