The interest of immunoprecipitation tests in the immunological diagnosis of Chagas'disease
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Summary. lmmunoelectrophoresis (lEP) and a double diffusion microtest (MD) were evaluated for ¡mmunological diagnosis of Chagas' d¡sease, using 527 sera from Bolivian patients. The specificity of, the tests was given by the identification of precipitating ant¡- bodies anti-component 5, previously demonstrated as specific of Ttypanosoma cruzi. IEP showed 1 to 14 precip¡tation lines in 96 per cent of the sera, both wilh parasitological (positive xenodiagnosis) or serological conf¡rmalion of T. cruzi infection, whereas the control sera were all negative. Prec¡p¡tat¡on line 5, ¡dentified by its parlicular pattern, was present in 70 per cent of the same sera. ln MD, prec¡pitation line 5, identified by ident¡ly reaction with a rabbit anti-component 5 specif¡c serum, was found in 80.2 per cent of all the serological positive sera: 84.1 per cent of lhe sera with posit¡ve and 72.2 per cent of the sera w¡th negative xenod¡agnosis (P 0.05). Line 5 was never found, ne¡ther in the le¡shmaniasis group (com¡ng from an area wilhout Chagas' d¡sease) nor in the control group. ln another part¡cular leishmanias¡s group, coming from an area endemic lor both ¡nfect¡ons,31.7 per cent of the sera were line 5 pos¡tive, indicating assoc¡ated Chagas' disease. Consequently, the ¡mmunoprecipitation test, allow¡ng the detection of. T cruzi spec¡f¡c line 5, ¡s cheap and simple to perform. lt can be recommended ¡n assoc¡ation with the other serolog¡cal tests wh¡ch are more sensit¡ve, when highly specific ¡mmunod¡agnosis of Chagas' disease is requ¡red.