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Acta Trop. 2003 Jan;85(1):31-7.

Evaluation of LATEX/T.b.gambiense for mass screening of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense sleeping sickness in Central Africa.

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OCEAC, POB 288, Yaounde, Cameroon.


We compared the Card Agglutination Test for Trypanosomiasis (CATT), which consists of lyophilized bloodstream form trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense (T.b.g.) variable antigen type LiTat 1.3, with LATEX/T.b.g., which consists of a lyophilized suspension of latex particles coated with variable surface glycoproteins of T.b.g. variable antigen types LiTat 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6. This study was carried out during two mass screening surveys in 1998 in Campo, a sleeping sickness focus in Cameroon, with a low prevalence (0.3%) and in 1999 in Batangafo which belongs to the Central African focus of Ouham which has a higher prevalence (3%). In Campo, we compared the CATT performed on whole blood with the LATEX/T.b.g. on diluted blood. In Batangafo, both tests were performed on diluted blood. In all circumstances, the specificity of the LATEX/T.b.g. was higher than of CATT. The use of LATEX/T.b.g. on diluted blood instead of CATT results in an important decrease of workload and as a consequence, of costs related to parasitological examinations. In the case of Campo the workload was up to 12 times less than when using CATT 1.3 on whole blood and the cost divided by 3. In Batangafo the workload was decreased by nearly 20% with the LATEX/T.b.g. Finally, it should be noted that in Batangafo, one of the parasitologically confirmed sleeping sickness patients was negative in CATT and positive in LATEX/T.b.g. and that the reading of the test result in LATEX/T.b.g. is easier than in CATT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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