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Acta Trop. 2001 Jan 15;78(1):11-6.

Latex agglutination test for the detection of urinary antigens in visceral leishmaniasis.

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Molecular Biology and Immunology Division, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, L3 5QA, Liverpool, UK.


This paper describes a new latex agglutination test ('KATEX') for the detection of leishmanial antigen in the urine of patients with visceral leishmaniasis. In preliminary laboratory trials, using urine collected from well-defined cases and controls from Brazil, Yemen and Nepal, the test had 100% specificity and a sensitivity between 68 and 100%. When used in a time-course experiment in cotton rats infected with Leishmania donovani, the test became positive 1 week after inoculation and antigen levels in urine declined rapidly after chemotherapy (the test was negative before the end of the course of treatment). Finally, in an integrated study performed in Sudan, KATEX was compared to microscopy and four different serological tests in a group of 73 patients having presented with clinical manifestations suggestive of visceral leishmaniasis. Compared to microscopy, KATEX performed better than any single serological test in predicting positivity and a particularly good result was obtained by combining KATEX and the direct agglutination test (DAT).

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