Identification of an immunodominant 32-kilodalton membrane protein of Leishmania donovani infantum promastigotes suitable for specific diagnosis of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis.J Clin Microbiol. 1994 Oct; 32(10):2474-80.JC
Sera from 35 patients suffering from Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis (caused by Leishmania donovani infantum) and 59 patients with various forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis prevalent in the sub-Mediterranean countries (caused by Leishmania major, L. donovani infantum, or Leishmania tropica) were tested by immunoblotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with both membrane and soluble antigens prepared from L. donovani infantum parasites. Control sera were from healthy children (n = 41), adults with nonleishmanial diseases (n = 40), and patients with Chagas' disease (n = 12). A P32 antigen present in the membrane preparation from L. donovani infantum parasites was recognized by 95% of serum specimens from patients with Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis but not by serum specimens from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis or sera from control individuals. An ELISA with electroeluted P32 antigen was found to have a specificity and sensitivity of 94% in the serodiagnosis of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis. Healthy children with asymptomatic Leishmania infection were seronegative for the P32 antigen by ELISA. These results suggest that antibodies to P32 antigen develop only in patients with visceral leishmaniasis and that the P32 ELISA may be useful in areas where the disease is endemic for discriminating between patients with this disease and those with other clinical conditions.