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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


MEDINA, Norma H. et al. Analysis of direct immunofluorescence exams for trachoma diagnosis. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1996, vol.30, n.2, pp.135-140. ISSN 1518-8787.

For the confirmation of trachoma foci in places where no previous cases had been reported, the State Health Secretariat of S. Paulo makes provision for the realization of laboratory exams, particularly because the disease was considered to have been eradicated from the State in the seventies. During the epidemiological investigations, conjuntival scrapings were collected from the subjects with inflamatory trachoma (TF/TI), clinically diagnosed. The results of the immunofluorescence (DFA) exams were analysed in the light of the frequency of the appropriate exams and their positive results, by the quantity of elementary bodies (EB) found. A total of 385 slides were studied, the criteria for positivity being 5 or more EBs. The test's sensitivity was 19.9%. The DFA test is considered to be the best laboratorial exam to be used in field work, though it does not show a sufficient sensitivity to confirm all clinically diagnosed cases of trachoma; it can only confirm the circulation of the aetiological agent within a community. In endemic areas the clinical diagnosis continues to be the criterion for case confirmation.

Keywords : Trachoma [diagnosis]; Fluorescent antibody technique [utilization].

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