Rapid detection of Leishmania infantum infection in dogs: comparative study using an immunochromatographic dipstick rk39 test and direct agglutination

Veterinary Parasitology

Volume 3-4 - Number

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A rapid, sensitive and specific tool for detection of Leishmania infantum infection in dogs, would be highly desirable, because it would allow control interventions in endemic areas of Zoonotic visceral leishmaniosis (ZVL). In this study, we compared an immunochromatographic dipstick test with direct agglutination test (DAT) for detecting L. infantum infections in dogs from areas of ZVL endemic in Iran. The validity of the dipstick rk39 (Cypress Diagnostic Company, Belgium) for canine visceral leishmaniosis (CVL) was compared with a standard direct agglutination test on 116 clinically suspected dogs and 152 healthy controls from endemic areas of Ardabil and East Azerbaijan provinces, north-western of Iran for 1 year. A sensitivity of 70.9% and specificity of 84.9% were found at a 1:320 cut off titer when DAT confirmed cases were compared with healthy control. As the dipstick rk39 test is rapid, noninvasive and does not require much expertise or elaborate equipment, it can be used for screening and diagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniosis in remote endemic areas. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.