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

  • S. FARAJNIA (a1) (a2), B. DARBANI (a1), H. BABAEI (a1) (a3), M. H. ALIMOHAMMADIAN (a4), F. MAHBOUDI (a5) and A. M. GAVGANI (a6)...

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.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Drug Applied Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Science, Daneshgah Avenue, Tabriz 51656-65811, Iran. Tel: 0098411 3363234. E-Mail:
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