Journal Article

Noninvasive Management of Indian Visceral Leishmaniasis: Clinical Application of Diagnosis by K39 Antigen Strip Testing at a Kala-azar Referral Unit

Shyam Sundar, M. Sahu, H. Mehta, A. Gupta, U. Kohli, M. Rai, J.D. Berman and H.W. Murray

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 35, issue 5, pages 581-586
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/342057
Noninvasive Management of Indian Visceral Leishmaniasis: Clinical Application of Diagnosis by K39 Antigen Strip Testing at a Kala-azar Referral Unit

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Firm diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar) requires organ aspiration and microscopic examination of tissue specimens. To determine the usefulness of noninvasive diagnosis by strip test detection of anti-K39 immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibody in blood specimens obtained by fingerstick, 143 Indian patients with suspected kala-azar (fever, splenomegaly, anemia) were studied. Of 120 strip test-positive subjects (subjects with presumed kala-azar [group A]), amphotericin B treatment induced clinical cure in 119. Of 23 strip test-negative subjects (subjects presumed to have other diseases [group B]), 16 had other disorders diagnosed at entry, 4 responded to empiric antimalarial therapy, 2 were proven to have kala-azar, and 1 died elsewhere after undergoing splenic aspiration. Six months after treatment ended, all 120 patients in group A and the 18 assessable patients in group B were healthy. In a region in India where visceral infection is prevalent, strip test detection of anti-K39 IgG is a clinically promising diagnostic guide in persons with suspected kala-azar.

Journal Article.  4327 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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