Parasitology

Original Articles

Development and evaluation of Leishmania infantum rK26 ELISA for serodiagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in Iran

S. FARAJNIAa1a2 c1, B. DARBANIa1, H. BABAEIa1a3, M. H. ALIMOHAMMADIANa5, F. MAHBOUDIa6 and A. M. GAVGANIa4

a1 Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

a2 Biotechnology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

a3 School of Pharmacy, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

a4 Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

a5 Immunology Department, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Iran

a6 Biotechnology Research Center, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Iran

SUMMARY

The purpose of this study was to prepare recombinant K26 antigen from Leishmania infantum and evaluate its performance by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test for serodiagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in endemic regions of Iran. The results were compared with those obtained by direct agglutination test (DAT) and whole cell ELISA using crude parasite antigen. Of 93 sera from patients with confirmed VL, 90 sera were positive with rK26 ELISA (sensitivity=96·8%), whereas 85 sera were positive with DAT (sensitivity=91·4%) and 89 sera were positive with whole cell ELISA (sensitivity=95·7%). Of 130 subjects who either had other infectious diseases (n=30) or were healthy (n=100), rK26 ELISA were negative in all cases (specificity=100%), whereas DAT were negative in 116 cases (specificity=89·2%) and whole cell ELISA was negative in 114 cases (specificity=87·7%). The results of this study indicate that the rK26 ELISA is more sensitive and specific than conventional methods and could be used for reliable diagnosis of VL caused by Leishmania infantum.

(Received November 09 2007)

(Revised February 02 2008)

(Accepted April 04 2008)

(Online publication June 19 2008)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author: Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Daneshgah Avenue, Tabriz 51656-65811, Iran. Tel: 0098411 3363234. E-Mail: farajnias@tbzmed.ac.ir

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