A dot-immunobinding assay (DIBA) was compared with a direct fluorescent antibody technique (DFAT) for the detection of Rickettsia tsutsugamushi infection in Leptotrombidium fletcheri (Womersley & Heaslip). Laboratory colonies of infected and noninfected chiggers were examined. The relative proportions of positive, negative, and indeterminate results were significantly different between DIBA and DFAT for infected but not for noninfected chiggers. DIBA was more sensitive and had a better negative predictive value and a lower false negative percentage than DFAT. It was concluded that DIBA is a suitable alternative to DFAT for detecting scrub typhus infection in chiggers.
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