A newly developed direct agglutination test (DAT) for visceral leishmaniasis, IFAT and ELISA were applied to sera of patients with visceral leishmaniasis, African and American trypanosomiasis, other parasitic infections and healthy controls. The sensitivities of the 3 tests were comparable (96.3% to 100%); excluding patients with African and American trypanosomiasis, the specificities of DAT and IFAT were 100% and ELISA 87.3%. When trypanosomiasis sera were included, the specificities were 72.6%, 94.3% and 79.4% in DAT, IFAT and ELISA respectively. In 273 sera from a leishmaniasis endemic area (Baringo District, Kenya), the sensitivity was 80% in DAT and IFAT and 60% in ELISA, specificities being 99.6% (DAT), 98.5% (IFAT) and 62.5% (ELISA). As the new DAT is economical and easy to perform, it is recommended for sero-epidemiological field work on visceral leishmaniasis.