What is microscopic agglutination testing (MAT) and how is it used 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

Microscopic agglutination testing (MAT) uses a battery of antigens taken from common (frequently locally endemic) leptospire serovars. MAT is available only at reference laboratories, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In a patient with clinical findings consistent with the disease, a single titer exceeding 1:200 or serial titers exceeding 1:100 suggest leptospirosis; however, neither is diagnostic. A 4-fold rise in titer between acute and convalescent specimens is considered a positive result. The antibody response does not reach detectable levels until the second week of illness, and it can be affected by treatment.


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