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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Ingrid E. Pereira, Kyssia P. Silva, Laura M. Menegati, Aimara C. Pinheiro, Elaine A. O. Assunção, Maria De Lourdes P. Araújo, Elfadil Abass, Malcolm S. Duthie, Ulrich Steinhoff, and Henrique C. Teixeira


Control of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL), a major zoonotic disease in Brazil and many other tropical and subtropical countries, remains difficult as an accurate and reliable diagnosis is still missing. In endemic regions, infected dogs are the main parasitic reservoir host of human Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) infection. Vaccination of dogs against Leishmania infection constitutes an important strategy to prevent or to better control CVL, thus, a serological test that can discriminate between antibodies induced by immunization versus infection is highly desirable in order to improve and simplify diagnosis. Here, four recombinant proteins were evaluated for their ability to detect and differentiate between dogs that are infected with Leishmania or have been immunized with the anti-Leishmania vaccine Leish-Tec®. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis of the four Leishmania-specific IgG ELISA revealed superior performance of rK28, followed by rKLO8, rK39 and rLb6H. The rK28-based ELISA revealed not only the best accuracy against CVL, but also the lowest cross-reactivity with sera from Leish-Tec® immunized dogs. Our data show that the rK28-based ELISA is highly suitable for CVL screening as it shows high sensitivity with simultaneous low cross-reactivity. Further, the high specificity of the rKLO8 indicates its suitability for the confirmation of CVL diagnosis.

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