Kala-azar: a comparative study of parasitological methods and the direct agglutination test in diagnosis

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. Sep-Oct 1992;86(5):505-7. doi: 10.1016/0035-9203(92)90086-r.


In a comparative study 88 patients were diagnosed as suffering from kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis) using 3 parasitological methods simultaneously. Splenomegaly was absent in 4 cases. In 84 patients with splenomegaly, splenic aspiration appeared to be the most sensitive method (96.4%), followed by bone marrow aspiration (70.2%) and lymph node aspiration (58.3%). There was no relation between titres in the direct agglutination test and parasite load as determined by the number of parasitological methods which were positive or parasite density in splenic aspirates. Splenic aspiration and bone marrow aspiration were compared as an assessment of cure in kala-azar. In 6 (13%) of 46 patients tested, parasites were found, all by splenic aspiration. Bone marrow showed parasites in one of these. The literature with regard to parasitological investigations before and after treatment is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Agglutination Tests / methods
  • Bone Marrow / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / diagnosis*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / parasitology
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spleen / parasitology