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J Infect. 2008 Nov;57(5):397-403. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Oct 2.

Influence of brucellosis history on serological diagnosis and evolution of patients with acute brucellosis.

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Unidad de Investigación, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.


Serological diagnosis of human brucellosis is problematic in endemic brucellosis regions and with patients having a history of brucellosis. The aim of this study is to ascertain the serologic and evolutionary behavior of the tests of serum agglutination, Coombs anti-Brucella, immunocapture-agglutination, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) IgG, IgA, IgM and ELISA-IgG avidity against Brucella lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS), in patients with acute brucellosis based on whether or not a history of brucellosis exists. Titers and seropositivity in all the tests assayed were higher in the patients having brucellosis history (from 90.9% in ELISA-IgM to 100% in ELISA-IgG) than in the patients lacking such history (from 79.3% in ELISA-IgM to 86.2% in Coombs, immunocapture-agglutination, and ELISA-IgG). IgG S-LPS avidity results in patients with brucellosis history were significantly higher (always over 84%) than in patients without brucellosis history (from 48.0% in the initial sera to 81% ten months later) (p<0.001). The titers of antibodies against Brucella in the initial sera and ELISA-IgG avidity against S-LPS may allow distinguishing patients with brucellosis caused by primary infection in the initial stages of the disease from patients seropositive due to prior infections from Brucella.

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