What is the role of microscopic agglutination test (MAT) in the diagnosis of leptospirosis?

Updated: Jul 08, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Antileptospire antibodies in these samples are detected using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory in Atlanta, Georgia, performs the MAT using 23 leptospire antigens. A 4-fold rise in MAT titer between acute and convalescent sera with any of these antigens confirms the diagnosis of leptospirosis.

Faster laboratory methods may strongly suggest the diagnosis of leptospirosis, but they may be no more readily available than the CDC laboratory in Atlanta. A single MAT titer of 1:200 on any sera or identification of spirochetes on dark-field microscopy, when accompanied by the appropriate clinical scenario, is strongly suggestive.


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