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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PALACIOS, Xiomara; BELLI, Alejandro  and  ESPINO, Ana M.. Trypanosoma cruzi antibody detection in eight rural communities of Somoto, Nicaragua, through indirect ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence in blood samples collected on filter paper. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2000, vol.8, n.6, pp.411-417. ISSN 1680-5348.

We standardized a solid-phase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in order to study the presence of Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies in asymptomatic persons who live in an area of Nicaragua endemic for Chagas' disease. The test was standardized to analyze filter-paper blood samples, which are easy to transport. In the first phase of our investigation, ELISA was used to study 18 samples of total serum and 18 eluates of blood from patients with chronic Chagas' disease; 30 samples of serum and 30 eluates of blood from healthy people, used as negative controls; and 14 samples of serum and 14 eluates of blood from patients with cutaneous or visceral leishmaniasis, which were used to study cross-reactions. Both with the total-serum and the blood-eluate samples, the ELISA test provided 100% sensitivity and 90% specificity. Cross-reactions in the patient samples were observed only with visceral leishmaniasis. The second phase of our investigation was a population study that included eight rural communities in the area of Somoto, Nicaragua. Through random sampling, filter-paper blood samples were collected from 2 434 people (1 335 men and 1 099 women) from the communities of Aguas Calientes, El Brocal, La Manzana, Las Playas, Los Canales, Santa Isabel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Teresa. Studied by ELISA and by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF), the samples included 260 found seropositive by ELISA (10.7%), of which 207 were positive according to IIF (8.5%). With both techniques, the majority of seropositives were among women, but the difference between men and women was not statistically significant. There was a high level of agreement between the results obtained with the two techniques. There was an upward trend with age, with 5.4% of those found seropositive by ELISA being persons 10 years of age or younger and 42.7% of those found seropositive being older than 50. The vast majority of the individuals analyzed were asymptomatic.

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