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Abstract

Leptospirosis is a widespread zoonotic disease that affects all mammals in different parts of the world. Though there are many commercial kits available for the diagnosis of systemic leptospirosis, the nature of the antigen has not been described. Therefore, identification of a specific antigen is important. Since ocular involvement in leptospirosis has been reported, there is a need to identify and characterize the leptospiral antigen for diagnosis of uveitis associated with past leptospiral infection (leptospiral uveitis) and for confirming the clinical diagnosis. Seven-day-old culture of serovar Patoc was used for preparing the antigen. The present study included serum samples from 81 patients with clinical criteria for leptospiral uveitis, 15 cataract controls and 15 non-leptospiral uveitis controls. Serum samples were assayed by ELISA using our antigenic preparation and by a microscopic agglutination test (MAT) using 19 serovars. The antigen prepared had 280 μg LPS ml and no detectable amount of protein. Silver-staining of SDS-PAGE for protein and LPS, dot blot and Western blot analysis and proteinase K and periodate treatment showed that LPS (13–21 kDa and 28 kDa) in our preparation was the relevant antigen for serodiagnosis. IgG antibodies showed reactivity in both leptospiral uveitis patients and controls. However, on the basis of IgM response to LPS, 48 % of the leptospiral uveitis patients were significantly positive compared with controls; 58 % of leptospiral uveitis patients and none of the controls were positive for MAT. When MAT and IgM ELISA results were considered together, 77 % were significantly positive. LPS is identified as a candidate antigen for serodiagnosis of leptospiral uveitis and has sensitivity and specificity of 48 and 90 %, respectively, in ELISA for IgM antibodies. Confirmation of clinical diagnosis with a specific laboratory test would help to initiate the most appropriate treatment for leptospiral uveitis.

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2003-08-01
2019-10-16
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