A rapid indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for measuring antibodies against Leishmania chagasi using total antigen from lysed promastigotes. Fifty symptomatic mixed breed dogs from a region of high incidence of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil were examined. The results showed that in the positive animals, diagnosed by cytological examination, the ELISA using protein A assay system (mean optical density ± SD / 2.078 ± 0.631) detected more antibodies than the anti-IgG assay (mean optical density ± SD / 1.008 ± 0.437), while in the negative animals, the results by both systems were similar. These results suggest that the ELISA assay using protein A peroxidase conjugated could be useful to detect early infected animals in endemic areas, and thus help to control the spread of the infection.
Leishmania chagasi; visceral leishmaniasis; protein A; dogs