Evaluation of five immunodiagnostic techniques in echinococcosis patients
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Double diffusion (DD), indirect haemagglutination (IHA), immunoelectrophoresis (IEP), latex agglutination (LA), and complement fixation (CF) tests were evaluated for sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of 141 surgically-proven Turkana echinococcosis patients and 10 controls. The overall sensitivities for the tests were: IHA, 86.7%; LA, 53.3%; CF, 63.3%; DD, 55.0%; IEP, 55.0%. LA and CF tests produced a high number of false positive results; IHA gave a false positive result in 10% of cases; no false positives were obtained with IEP and DD. A combination of the latter three tests would therefore offer the best chance of detecting specific anti-Echinococcus antibodies, with an average sensitivity of 62.7%. The possible reasons for the relatively high incidence of false negative values are discussed.