Comparison of standard agglutination tests, enzyme immunoassay, and Coombs gel test used in laboratory diagnosis of human brucellosis


Abstract: Background/aim: It was aimed to evaluate the results of Rose Bengal (RB), ELISA total tests (IgM and IgG), and the Brucella Coombs gel test (BCGT), which are used as screening tests, with the combined results of a tube agglutination test (standard Wright test: SWT) and a tube agglutination test with antihuman globulin (AHG TAT). Materials and methods: Samples from 97 patients prediagnosed with brucellosis (age ≥18 years) were screened with RB, ELISA, and BCGT. SWT < 160 samples and RB-negative but ELISA- or BCGT-positive samples were tested by AHG TAT. SWT ≥ 160 or AHG TAT ≥ 160 was taken as reference. Results: Thirty-two of 56 RB-positive samples and one RB-negative but ELISA- and BCGT-positive sample were found to be ≥160 with SWT or AHG TAT. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and agreement (kappa) values according to SWT ≥ 160 or AHG TAT ≥ 160 positivity were as follows, respectively: RB 96.9%, 62.5%, 74.2%, and 0.509; ELISA total 100%, 60.9%, 74.2%, and 0.515; BCGT test 97%, 70.3%, 79.4%, and 0.594. Conclusion: Sensitivities of the screening tests are similar, but positivities should be confirmed by more specific tests. Positive samples from screening tests should be tested with AHG if the SWT value is <160.

Keywords: Serological tests, brucellosis, ELISA, Brucella Coombs gel test

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