Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14600
Test combination to detect latent Leishmania infection: a prevalence study in a newly endemic area for L. infantum, northeastern Italy [Dataset]
Background: Most people infected with Leishmania remain asymptomatic, which is a common element that may promote the resurgence of clinically evident leishmaniasis in individuals with impaired cell-mediated immune responses. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted assay to identify asymptomatic infection. This cross-sectional study focuses on the employment of three methods targeting different features of the parasitic infection to be used in combination for the screening of latent leishmaniasis in a newly endemic area of northeastern Italy. Methodology/Principle findings: The selected methods included highly sensitive Real-Time PCR for detection of parasitic kinetoplast (k)DNA in peripheral blood, Western Blot (WB) for detection of specific IgG, and Whole Blood stimulation Assay (WBA) to evaluate the anti-leishmanial T-cell response by quantifying the production of IL-2 after stimulation of patients’ blood with Leishmania specific antigens. Among 145 individuals, living in a municipality of the Bologna province, northeastern Italy, recruited and screened for Leishmania infection, 23 subjects tested positive (15.9%) to one or more tests. Positive serology was the most common marker of latent leishmaniasis (15/145, 10%), followed by the detection of specific cell-mediated response (12/145, 8%), while only few individuals (6/145, 4%) harbored parasitic DNA in the blood. Conclusions/Significance: Combining different tests substantially increased the yield of positivity in detecting latent Leishmania infection. The test combination that we employed in this study appears to be effective to accurately identify latent leishmaniasis in an endemic area.
Latent leishmaniasis | Leishmania infantum | Real time PCR | Western Blot | Whole Blood stimulation Assay (WBA)
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