Diagnosis of leptospirosis

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Title Diagnosis of leptospirosis: evaluation of a solid-phase enzyme immunoassay in different stages of the disease [Spanish]
Author(s) N. B. Vanasco, J. Lottersberger, M. F. Schmeling, I. A. Gardner, H. D. Tarabla
Journal Revista Panamericana de Salud PÚblica
Date 2007
Volume 21
Issue 6
Start page 388
End page 395
Abstract OBJECTIVE: To develop a solid-phase enzyme immunoassay (ELISA) for genus-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) determination with leptospirosis and to evaluate the ELISA in different stages of the disease. METHODS: A total of 1 077 serum samples from 812 patients with suspected leptospirosis were analyzed. The samples had come from diagnoses done in the laboratory of the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases (Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias), in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina, between 1999 and 2005. Included in the study were 182 confirmed cases (267 samples), 167 negative cases (293 samples), and 40 probable cases (60 samples) (based on case definitions based on the results from the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), leukocyte counts, and neutrophilia values). Each sample was classified, according to the days of the natural history of disease, into one of three stages: first ( 25 days). The antigen used in the ELISA was an extract of a mixture of pyrogenes and tarassovi serovars cultivated in a liquid medium, treated with ultrasound, and immobilized by adsorption on polystyrene plates. As a secondary antibody, a peroxidase-conjugated goat anti-human IgG monoclonal antibody was used. The cutoff value, sensitivity, and specificity of the ELISA were determined using the definitions of confirmed cases and of negatives cases as the standard. In order to determine the optimal cutoff value, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was calculated. RESULTS: The sensitivity of the evaluated test was much higher in the second stage (93.2%) than in either the first stage (68.1%) or the third stage (78.8%). The specificity increased gradually from 96.3% in the first stage to 100% in the third stage. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that this ELISA test can be a very useful complement to the MAT for the diagnosis of leptospirosis in all the stages and, in particular, in order to diagnose acute disease sooner.

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