Evaluation of a latex agglutination test (KAtex) for detection of Leishmania antigen in urine of patients with HIV-Leishmania coinfection: value in diagnosis and post-treatment follow-up

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004 Dec;23(12):899-904. doi: 10.1007/s10096-004-1249-7.


The usefulness of antigen detection in urine as an alternative tool for diagnosis of leishmaniasis and post-treatment follow-up in patients with Leishmania-HIV coinfection was evaluated with a latex agglutination test (KAtex; Kalon Biological, UK). Forty-nine HIV-infected patients with visceral leishmaniasis were included in the study. Antigen detection in urine (ADU) was positive in 42 of 49 (sensitivity, 85.7%) samples obtained during a primary episode. After treatment, a follow-up study in 23 patients was performed by simultaneous ADU and culture of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 148 determinations. The two methods gave concordant results in 94 cases, 38 of which were positive and 56 negative. In five cases, ADU was negative and culture of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was positive: two of these cases corresponded to clinical relapses. In 49 cases, culture of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was negative and ADU was positive. In the absence of clinical symptoms, the detection of parasite antigens in 71 of 130 (54.6%) urine samples was not associated with clinical disease. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the probability of relapse at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months were 16% (95%CI, 15-17%), 20% (95%CI, 18-22%), 31% (95%CI, 27-35%), and 71% (95%CI, 52-89%), respectively, in patients with a positive ADU result. In contrast, when ADU was negative, the probability of relapse was 5% at 6 months (95%CI, 2-8%) (only 2 of 11 patients who relapsed had a negative test). ADU by KAtex is appropriate for primary diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis, for monitoring the efficacy of treatment, and for detection of subclinical infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / blood
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / urine*
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Latex Fixation Tests / methods*
  • Leishmania donovani / immunology*
  • Leishmania donovani / isolation & purification
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / complications
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / immunology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / urine*


  • Antigens, Protozoan