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J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Nov;38(11):4000-5.

Evaluation of an immunocapture-agglutination test (Brucellacapt) for serodiagnosis of human brucellosis.

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  • 1Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Medicina, Valladolid, Spain.


We evaluated the validity and the usefulness of a new test for the diagnosis of human brucellosis based on an immunocapture-agglutination technique. A total of 315 sera from 82 patients with a diagnosis of brucellosis, 157 sera from patients in whom brucellosis was suspected but not confirmed, and 412 sera from people living in rural areas with endemic brucellosis were studied. The seroagglutination test (SAT), Coombs anti-Brucella test, and Brucellacapt test were evaluated. All the initial sera from the 82 patients proved to be positive in Brucellacapt and Coombs tests, while only 75 (91.4%) were positive in the SAT. If a >/=1/160 diagnostic threshold titer was defined for the Brucellacapt test, Coombs test, and SAT, the sensitivities were 95.1, 91.5, and 65.8%, respectively. Taking the same diagnostic threshold titer for the 157 sera from the unconfirmed but suspected patients, the specificities of the Brucellacapt, Coombs, and SAT were 81.5, 96.2, and 100%, respectively; for the 412 control sera, the specificities were 99.0, 99.8, and 100%. The diagnostic efficiency (area below the receiver operating characteristic curve) of Brucellacapt was 0.987852 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95109 to 0.99286), very similar to the diagnostic efficiency of the Coombs test (0.97611; 95% CI, 0.94781 to 0.99146) and higher than that of SAT (0.91013; 95% CI, 0.86649 to 0.94317). The results of the Brucellacapt test were compared with those of the Coombs test (correlation coefficient, 0.956; P = 0.000) and SAT (correlation coefficient, 0.866; P = 0.000). The study shows very good correlation between the Brucellacapt and Coombs tests, with a high concordance between titers obtained in the two tests. Nevertheless, lower correlation and concordance were found between the Brucellacapt and Coombs tests when the results for titers of >/=1/160 were compared (0.692; P = 0.000). In acute brucellosis, the Brucellacapt and Coombs tests render positive titers of >/=1/160. When the titers are lower, they increase significantly in the following 30 days, despite the evolution of SAT titers. In contrast, Brucellacapt and Coombs titers are always high (>/=1/640) in brucellosis with long evolution, whether SAT titers are higher or lower than 1/160.

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