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The use of different concentrations of leishmanial antigen in skin testing to evaluate delayed hypersensitivity in american cutaneous leishmaniasis

Three concentrations of Leishmania mexicana amazonensis sonicated whole promastigote antigen (30, 9.6 and 3 ug N in 0.1 ml) wereprepared and 0.1 ml of each inoculated intradermally intopatients who live in one endemic leishmaniasis region in Brazil. Patients were divided into groups with active cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL), healed cutaneous leishmaniasis (HCL), mucosal leishmaniasis (ML), and Controls (C). Skin reactions were recorded by measuring induration 48 hours after inoculation. Skin tests using 9.6 ugN/0.1 mlyielded the best diagnostic resultssince 97% of 30 patients with active lesions (cutaneous or mucosal) and 83% with HCL showed reactions of 5 mm orgreater as compared with 4% Controls. Tests using 30ug N/O. 1 ml causedan unacceptable levei of skin reactions with necrosis (10% of ACL patients tested and 17% of HCL, respectively). Tests using 3 ug N/O. 1 ml were less sensitive since only 87% of patients with active lesions and 68% with HCL had reactions of 5mm orgreater. The 3 ug N/O. 1 ml dose was utilized to ask the questions whether skin delayed hypersensitivity decreased with time after the initial lesion and whether mucosal involvement is associated with enhaced hypersensitivity to leishmanial antigen. Decreased delayed hypersensitivity was noted only in those patients who had an initial lesion more than 30 years ago. The mean induration of the reaction in 10 patients with ML was 11.3 mm ± 7.15, in 41 patients with HCL, 9.27 mm ± 6.78 and in 20patients with ACL 10. 7 mm ± 6.10 mm. The percent of patients with 5 mm orgreater induration was ML 80%, HCL 71%, ACL 90%. Thus, we could not confirm an association between enhanced delayed hypersensitivity and mucosal involvement in leishmaniasis.

Skin test comparison; Antigen concentrations; Clinical forms; American mucocutaneous leishmaniasis

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