Rapid tests for diagnosis of Leptospirosis: Current tools and emerging technologies

Institut Pasteur, Unité de Biologie des Spirochètes, National Reference Center and WHO Collaborating Center for Leptospirosis, Paris, France.
Diagnostic microbiology and infectious disease (Impact Factor: 2.46). 10/2013; 78(1). DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2013.09.012
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Leptospirosis is an emerging zoonosis with a worldwide distribution but is more commonly found in impoverished populations in developing countries and tropical regions with frequent flooding. The rapid detection of leptospirosis is a critical step to effectively manage the disease and to control outbreaks in both human and animal populations. Therefore, there is a need for accurate and rapid diagnostic tests and appropriate surveillance and alert systems to identify outbreaks. This review describes current in-house methods and commercialized tests for the rapid diagnosis of acute leptospirosis. It focuses on diagnostic tests that can be performed with minimal training and limited equipment in less-developed and newly industrialized countries, particularly in resource-limited settings and with results in minutes to less than 4 hours. We also describe recent technological advances in the field of diagnostic tests that could allow for the development of innovative rapid tests in the near future.

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Available from: Rudy A Hartskeerl, Jul 03, 2015
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    • "Leptospira spp. appears in blood during the acute phase (3–10 days) of the disease and is eliminated from blood in the immune phase with rise of antibody (Picardeau et al., 2014). Thus, Group I sera represented samples from acutely infected patients within 10 days post-infection, since there were circulating bacteria detectable by PCR as well as presence of adequate level of agglutinating antibodies as evidenced by the MAT results. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated two rapid leptospirosis serological tests, Leptorapide® (Linnodee, Northern Ireland) and VISITECT®-LEPTO (Omega Diagnostics, Scotland, UK), which are commonly used in Malaysia A total of 183 samples comprised 113 sera from leptospirosis patients and 70 sera from other infections and healthy controls were used. The leptospirosis sera were grouped into two serum panels i.e. Group I (MAT+, PCR+) and Group II (MAT+). When inconclusive results were interpreted as positives, both tests showed lower diagnostic sensitivities (≤34%) with Group I sera, as compared to Group II sera (Leptorapide®, 93%; VISITECT®-LEPTO, 40%). When inconclusive results were interpreted as negatives, the two tests showed ~20% sensitivity with both serum panels. The diagnostic specificity of VISITEC®-LEPTO (94%) was superior to Leptorapide® (69%). Since both tests had misdiagnosed a large proportion of Group I patients, and showed many inconclusive results among Group II patients, they have limited diagnostic value in detecting acute leptospirosis.
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