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J Med Microbiol. 2014 Jan;63(Pt 1):106-10. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.063891-0. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Performance of an indigenous β-mercaptoethanol-modified antigen in comparison with a commercial reference in direct agglutination test for detection of canine visceral leishmaniasis.

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Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas. Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal.


We compared the performance of a locally produced β-mercaptoethanol-modified promastigote antigen (β-ME-Ag) of an indigenous Leishmania infantum strain against that of a trypsinized Leishmania donovani reference (REF-Ag) in the direct agglutination test (DAT) for detection of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL). One hundred and fifty-one serum samples collected from dogs belonging to four groups with different conditions were included. At a DAT titre of 1 : 320, statistically determined as optimal cut-off value for β-ME-Ag, and 1 : 160 for REF-Ag, a sensitivity and a specificity of 100 % were estimated for β-ME-Ag in comparison with 96.6 % and 100 %, respectively, for REF-Ag. Overall, levels of agglutination titres recorded for the two antigens were highly concordant (Cohen's κ = 0.879) in both the CVL and non-CVL groups. Based on current results, and ease experienced in processing the antigen and reading the test outcome, we recommend incorporation of β-ME-Ag in DAT for confirmation or exclusion of suspected CVL in dogs.

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