This study was supported by a grant from WHO.
WHO comparative evaluation of serologic assays for Chagas disease
Article first published online: 5 MAR 2009
© 2009 American Association of Blood Banks
Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 1076–1082, June 2009
How to Cite
Otani, M. M., Vinelli, E., Kirchhoff, L. V., Del Pozo, A., Sands, A., Vercauteren, G. and Sabino, E. C. (2009), WHO comparative evaluation of serologic assays for Chagas disease. Transfusion, 49: 1076–1082. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2009.02107.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUN 2009
- Article first published online: 5 MAR 2009
- Received for publication October 22, 2008; revision received December 7, 2008; and accepted December 12, 2008.
BACKGROUND: Evaluation of commercially available test kits for Chagas disease for use in blood bank screening is difficult due to a lack of large and well-characterized specimen panels. This study presents a collaborative effort of Latin American blood centers and the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish such a panel.
STUDY DESIGN: A total of 437 specimens, from 10 countries were collected and sent to the WHO Collaborating Center in São Paulo and used to evaluate 19 screening assays during 2001 through 2005. Specimens were assigned a positive or negative status based on concordant results in at least three of the four confirmatory assays (indirect immunofluorescence, Western blot, radioimmunoprecipitation assay, and recombinant immunoblot).
RESULTS: Of the 437 specimens, 168 (39%) were characterized as positive, 262 (61%) were characterized as negative, and 7 (2%) were judged inconclusive and excluded from the analysis. Sensitivity and specificity varied considerably: 88 to 100 and 60 to 100 percent, respectively. Overall, enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) performed better than the other screening assays. Four EIAs had both parameters higher than 99 percent. Of the four confirmatory assays, only the RIPA gave a 100 percent agreement with the final serologic status of the specimens.
CONCLUSION: The sensitivities and specificities of at least four of the commercially available EIAs for Chagas disease are probably high enough to justify their use for single-assay screening of blood donations. Our data suggest that the majority of commercially available indirect hemagglutination assays should not be used for blood donor screening and that the RIPA could be considered a gold standard for evaluating the performance of other assays.