Standardization of a rapid immunochromatographic test with the recombinant antigens K39 and K26 for the diagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Nov-Dec;97(6):678-82. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(03)80102-5.


The serological diagnosis of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) remains problematic because there areno reliable commercially available tests. Most laboratories use domestically prepared tests such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT). We evaluated rapid immunochromatographic (RICH) test kits for the diagnosis of CVL. The tests were assembled with either Leishmania chagasi recombinant antigens K39 or K26 and with either gold-labelled Staphylococcus aureus protein A or Streptococcus pyogenes protein G. Fifty sera from dogs with CVL, 14 sera from dogs with Chagas disease, and 50 sera from normal healthy dogs were tested. The results show that the RICH test using recombinant antigen K39 has a sensitivity of 96% and 100% specificity for the diagnosis of CVL. No significant differences were observed in the tests assembled with either protein A or protein G. The RICH tests using recombinant antigen K26 were equally specific but less sensitive than those using K39. However, the 2 antigens complemented each other and increased the overall sensitivity of the test. Because of its simplicity and performance the RICH test is a quick and reliable alternative for the diagnosis of CVL either in conventional laboratories or for remote areas where laboratories are not readily accessible for conventional assays.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Protozoan / immunology*
  • Brazil
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Chromatography / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / immunology
  • Dogs
  • Leishmania infantum / immunology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / diagnosis
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary*
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic / standards
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic / veterinary*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Serologic Tests / veterinary


  • Antigens, Protozoan
  • K26 antigen, Leishmania chagasi
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • K39 antigen, Leishmania