Chimeric T. cruzi antigens have been proposed as a diagnostic tool for chronic Chagas disease (CD) in both settings where Chagas disease is endemic and those where it is not endemic. Antibody response varies in accordance to each T. cruzi strain, presenting challenges to the use of antigens lacking demonstrated cross-reactivity with Leishmania spp. Our group expressed four chimeric proteins (IBMP-8.1, IBMP-8.2, IBMP-8.3, and IBMP-8.4) and previously assessed their diagnostic performance to determine cross-reactivity with Leishmania spp. Here, we validated our findings using serum samples from different Brazilian geographic areas reporting endemic Chagas disease, endemic visceral or American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL), or both. Overall, 829 serum samples were evaluated using commercial and IBMP enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Due to the absence of a reference assay to diagnosis CD, latent class analysis (LCA) was performed through the use of a statistical model. The incidence of cross-reactivity for ACL-positive samples varied from 0.35% (IBMP-8.3) to 0.70% (IBMP-8.1 and IBMP-8.2). Regarding visceral leishmaniasis (VL)-positive samples, the IBMP-8.2 and IBMP-8.3 antigens cross-reacted with six (3.49%) and with only one sample (0.58%), respectively. No cross-reactivity with either ACL or VL was observed for the IBMP-8.4 antigen. Similarly, no cross-reactions were found when VL-positive samples were assayed with IBMP-8.1. The agreement among the results obtained using IBMP antigens ranged from 97.3% for IBMP-8.2 and 99% for IBMP-8.1 and IBMP-8.3 to 100% for IBMP-8.4, demonstrating almost perfect agreement with LCA. Accordingly, in light of the negligible cross-reactivity with both ACL and VL, we suggest the use of IBMP antigens in regions where T. cruzi and Leishmania spp. are coendemic.
- American cutaneous leishmaniasis
- Chagas disease
- Recombinant chimeric antigens
- Visceral leishmaniasis