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Rickettsial Diseases and Their Serological Diagnosis by E. Kováčová, J Kazár

Rickettsial diseases (typhus and spotted fever group rickettsioses, scrub typhus and Q fever) may pose a serious public health problem, namely when they are non-diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Although rickettsiae can be isolated from or detected in clinical specimens, serological tests still remain an indispensable tool in the diagnosis of rickettsial diseases. The complement fixation test widely used in the past is being replaced by other tests which make differentiation of immunoglobulin classes possible. Of these tests microimmunofluorescence is considered the test of choice followed by the latex agglutination, indirect hemagglutination, immunoperoxidase assay, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The last one is also suitable for seroepidemiological studies. Immunoblot analysis can be used to conflrrm the results of other tests. The use of the low-specific and low-sensitive Weil-Felix test should be reserved only for situations in which other serologic tests are not available.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2000;46:239- 245