What is the role of electrophoresis in the workup of leishmaniasis?

Updated: Feb 18, 2020
  • Author: Craig G Stark, MD, FACP, FFTM, RCPS(Glasg), FISTM; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Answer

In visceral leishmaniasis, an elevated serum immunoglobulin level with polyclonal spike may be present on serum plasma electrophoresis (SPEP). Visceral disease was traditionally diagnosed based on the addition of formaldehyde to a serum sample (aldehyde test), which would increase the viscosity secondary to excessive immunoglobulins.

Cellulose acetate electrophoresis is a well-standardized method for determining the species of parasites grown from clinical samples. Although this test is standardized, it requires experience and special facilities; therefore, it is available only in highly specialized diagnostic facilities.


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