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Evaluation of Direct Agglutination Test, rk39 Test, and ELISA for the Diagnosis of Visceral Leishmaniasis

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology and Department of Haematology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
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The study reports an evaluation of the direct agglutination test (DAT) with use of promastigote/amastigote antigen, rk39 strip test, and ELISA for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Out of 94 clinically suspected VL patients, 16 (17%) were seropositive by all the techniques; in addition, 6 were positive in rk39 strip test and ELISA. On retrospective analysis, out of 16 positive by all the techniques, 11 (69%) had demonstrable Leishmania donovani (LD) bodies in their bone marrow samples, while in 5 bone marrow was not examined. Out of 6 that were positive by ELISA and rk39 strip test, 2 had myelofibrosis and 4 had chronic myeloid leukemia. On the basis of bone marrow aspirate positivity, the sensitivity and specificity of DAT were 100% while those of rk39 strip test and ELISA were 100% and 87%, respectively. The study suggests that DAT appears to be the best technique for the serodiagnosis of VL.

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