Modifications influencing Widal test reactivity in a novel microplate assay
Reliability of the Widal tube agglutination test has been the subject of many controversies over the years. !is study was performed to assess the effect of certain modifications on the performance of Widal test in a novel microplate assay. Sera from 37 patients (21 males; 16 females) (mean age 28 + 7 years) were tested in the Immunology Unit at King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh. Among them were 26 patients with suspected typhoid fever and 11 had bacteriologically confirmed diagnosis of Salmonella infection. The modifications included either the use of 0.5% bovine serum albumin (BSA), absorption of sera with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) or heat inactivation of sera. Compared with Widal tube agglutination test, microplate assay with SRBC absorption of the sera from patients with suspected typhoid fever was not only associated with enhancement of detection titers for both H (p < 0.001) and O (p < 0.005) Salmonella agglutinins but also the percentage of reactivity. !e presence of BSA augmented detection titers for Salmonella H agglutinins (p < 0.02) only. Heat inactivation of sera however was found to be associated with reduction in the detectable titers for both H (p < 0.03) and O (p < 0.01) agglutinins. Increased titers of Salmonella agglutinins were also evident in 11 patients with confirmed diagnosis of Salmonella infection. The novel microplate agglutination assay using the SRBC absorption was associated with enhancement in Widal test reactivity and appears to be a useful alternative for the diagnosis of Salmonella infection.
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