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Parasit Vectors. 2010 Nov 26;3:114. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-3-114.

Evaluation of rK-39 strip test using urine for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in an endemic area in Bangladesh.

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International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sharani, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh.


Diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) by demonstration of parasites in tissue smears obtained from bone marrow, spleen or lymph nodes is risky, painful, and difficult. The rK-39 strip test is widely used for the diagnosis of VL using blood/serum samples in endemic countries. The aim of the study was to evaluate the rK-39 strip test using urine sample as a non-invasive means for the diagnosis of VL. The rk-39 strip test was performed using urine from 100 suspected VL cases along with 25 disease control (malarial febrile cases) and 50 healthy control (from endemic and non-endemic areas). All the VL suspected cases were positive with the rK-39 strip test using serum. The sensitivity and specificity of the rK-39 strip test using urine samples was 95% and 93.3%, respectively, compared to serum based rK-39 test. The findings suggest that the urine based rK-39 test could be a practical and efficient tool for the diagnosis of VL patients in rural areas, particularly where resources are limited.

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