JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Identification of a Western blot pattern for the specific diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in human sera.

A Western blot (WB) method using a lysate from Trypanosoma cruzi (Maracay strain) epimastigotes was evaluated. Serum samples from 37 patients with confirmed Chagas disease (cohort I), 27 Spanish patients with visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum (cohort II), and 28 Colombian patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by L. panamensis and negative serology for Chagas disease (cohort III) were tested. The negative controls were 55 healthy seronegative subjects for T. cruzi and Leishmania; 28 of the negative controls were from a region endemic for Chagas disease and Leishmania (cohort IV), and 27 of the negative controls were from a non-endemic area for Leishmania and T. cruzi (cohort V). A homogeneous standard band pattern consisting of six antigenic bands corresponding to 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, and 48 kDa was recognized simultaneously for all Chagasic patients' sera. Sera from Leishmania-infected patients showed a heterogeneous band pattern that was easily differentiated from the pattern of patients with Chagas disease. WB with T. cruzi epimastigote antigen is an efficient method for diagnosis and may be used as an alternative to confirm T. cruzi and detect cross-reactivity with Leishmania.

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