ABSTRACT: A rapid, sensitive, specific, and reliable enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is proposed for determination of the levels of anti-Trypanosoma cruzi IgM in acute chagasic sera (ACD). The efficiency of this ELISA as a diagnostic method was compared with that of parasite DNA detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and that of indirect immunofluorescence (iIF) anti-T. cruzi IgM detection. We tested whether this ELISA using fixed epimastigotes (epi) could detect anti-T. cruzi IgM in serum samples from two groups of children with acute Chagas' disease from a hyperendemic area in Bolivia. In a comparison of the ELISA method with other techniques, 95% and 71% of the results correlated with PCR and iIF findings, respectively. At the serum dilution applied (1:250), rheumatoid factor (RF) did not influence the results, and samples from patients carrying leishmaniasis or mixed Leishmania and T. cruzi infection could also be excluded from ACD. Highly specific and reliable results were obtained, a great number of the sera could be tested in only one assay, and a quantitative index of reactivity (IR) could be calculated without serial titration. Using test samples in triplicate, the method provides a useful tool for the detection of early acute-phase T. cruzi infection in humans.
Parasitology Research 11/2000; 86(10):813-20. · 2.15 Impact Factor