Usefulness of IgM-ELISA test for screening of Leptospirosis in Cuba
Introduction: Leptospirosis is a common cause of acute febrile illness in many tropical regions of the world. Early diagnosis is essential, since untreated cases can progress rapidly and mortality rates are high in severe cases. According to the observations of the Cuban National Reference Laboratory, non-reactive serologyâ€™s are prevailing in most suspected cases of human leptospirosis. Objective: to apply the IgM-ELISA test for screening of IgM antibodies using sera from patients with the acute phase of the illness. Material and methods: in the current study, 31 pairs of sera and 140 single sera from 337 suspected patients with leptospirosis were tested by two methods, a commercial IgM-ELISA test for Leptospira and microagglutination test (MAT). Results: IgM-ELISA test results were concordant with MAT results in 90.0% (28/31) of paired sera and 88,6% (124/140) of single sera. The following serogroups: Icterohaemorrhagiae 23,74% (18/76), Pomona 22.3% (17/76), Canicola 13.1% (10/76), and Ballum 5.2% (4/76) were the most frequently found in sera testing positive by IgM-ELISA. Positive IgM-ELISA sera were predominantly those taken from 5th to the 8th day of the acute phase of the illness. Some samples taken from day zero to the 28th day were also positive, suggesting a high sensitivity of this test. Conclusion: IgM-ELISA test is useful for screening of human leptospirosis, particularly if using sera taken from days 5-8 of surveillance, which reduce the under reporting of leptospirosis cases in Cuba.
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