This study evaluated the detection of antibodies, circulating antigens and parasite DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the diagnosis of toxoplasma encephalitis. The detection of antibody classes and IgG avidity were not useful diagnostically. The detection of circulating antigens by the ELISA system described was not sufficiently sensitive. The detection of DNA by PCR was the most useful test especially in untreated patients, with a sensitivity of 62% overall, 81% in untreated patients and only 20% in treated patients. The use of non-isotopic probes makes the use of this technique feasible in routine diagnostic parasitology laboratories.


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