Current zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) control programs in Brazil include the culling of Leishmania infantum-infected reservoir dogs, a strategy that has failed to prevent a rise of canine and human ZVL cases over the past decade. One of the main reasons this strategy has failed is because of a long delay between sample collection, sample analysis, and control implementation. A rapid, sensitive, and specific diagnostic tool would be highly desirable, because it would allow control interventions to be implemented in situ. We compared an immunochromatographic dipstick test to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and PCR for detecting L. infantum infections in dogs from an area of ZVL endemicity in Brazil. The dipstick test was shown to have 61 to 75% specificity and 72 to 77% sensitivity, compared to 100% specificity for both ELISA and PCR and 71 to 88% and 51 to 64% sensitivity for ELISA and PCR, respectively. Of the field samples tested, 92 of 175 (53%), 65 of 175 (37%), and 47 of 175 (27%) were positive by dipstick, ELISA, and PCR, respectively. The positive and negative predictive values for the tested dipstick were 58 to 77% and 75%, respectively. Efforts should be made to develop a more specific dipstick test for diagnosis of leishmaniasis, because they may ultimately prove more cost-effective than currently used diagnostic tests when used in mass-screening surveys.
Rapid detection of Leishmania infantum infection in dogs
Comparative study using an immunochromatographic dipstick test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and PCR
Reithinger, R., Quinnell, R. J., Alexander, B., & Davies, C. R. (2002). Rapid detection of Leishmania infantum infection in dogs: Comparative study using an immunochromatographic dipstick test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and PCR. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 40(7), 2352-2356.