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Bull World Health Organ. 2002;80(11):882-6.

Evaluation of the micro-CATT, CATT/Trypanosoma brucei gambiense, and LATEX/T b gambiense methods for serodiagnosis and surveillance of human African trypanosomiasis in West and Central Africa.

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Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Organisation de Coordination pour la Lutte contre les Endémies en Afrique Centrale, Yaoundé, Cameroon.



To evaluate the performance of serological tests using dried blood on filter-papers (micro-card agglutination test for trypanosomiasis (micro-CATT)) performed under field and laboratory conditions and using whole blood ((CATT/T.b. gambiense) (wb-CATT) and latex agglutination (LATEX/T.b. gambiense) (wb-LATEX)) for the serodiagnosis and surveillance of human African trypanosomiasis in West and Central Africa.


We evaluated the micro-CATT, wb-CATT and wb-LATEX methods in Côte d'Ivoire and the Central African Republic by screening 940 people. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for each serological test; only patients with the confirmed presence of trypanosomes in the blood or lymph aspirate were considered true positives. Positive and negative predictive values were also calculated.


Each of the tests showed a lower sensitivity in the Central African Republic than in Côte d'Ivoire.


The results confirmed the efficiency of the classic wb-CATT to detect sleeping sickness patients. The micro-CATT method can be used for human African trypanosomiasis surveillance if the test is performed on the same day as the blood collection, or if samples are stored at 4 degrees C. Otherwise, micro-CATT can be used when absolute sensitivity is not required. wb-LATEX should only be used for high-specificity screening.

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