Leishmaniasis: Diagnosis

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    00:00 So this is some kind of dermal reaction that occurs well after the initial disease.

    00:01 So how do we diagnose Kala-azar or other leishmaniasis infections? One way that's very well documented is by polymerase chain reaction. We look for the DNA of the organism in samples from either a lesion or from blood, depending on the kind of disease and you can learn more about PCR in our earlier lectures on this topic. We can also examine histology material from biopsies, you can take biopsies of lesions for example and look in the microscope and see the typical forms of the parasite. There is also an antibody test, which is in ELISA-based test which can be done in the field. This is a very easy to carry out test, which involves a microscope slide that has been coated with a matrix and that matrix at one end contains antibodies that are looking for either proteins or proteins that can be used to detect antibodies.

    01:01 In this case we're asking, does the person have antibodies against leishmania? So what you do in practice is you take a little bit of blood, a drop of blood will do, and you drop it at one end of the slide. The blood then begins to move across the matrix on the slide and after a certain amount of incubation, 10 or 15 minutes, you can then read out the result as either negative or positive, or invalid. So embedded in this slide is a compound that will react with every blood sample, it is something known to be in all blood, infected or uninfected, so that gives you the line that tells you the assay worked and then the second slide there that's label positive, there's an additional line which would tell us in this case, that the sample contains antibodies to leishmania, because on that line on the side, we've embedded antigens against the parasite. So a very rapid inexpensive field applicable test for diagnosis.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Leishmaniasis: Diagnosis by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Parasites.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. UV detection
    2. PCR
    3. ELISA
    4. Microscopy
    5. Antigen antibody test
    1. ELISA
    2. PCR
    3. Microscopy
    4. Antigen antibody test
    5. UV detection

    Author of lecture Leishmaniasis: Diagnosis

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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