The performances of ELISA assays with different antigen preparations, such as Leishmania amazonensis
or L. chagasi
lysates and the recombinant antigens rK-39 and rK-26, were compared using sera or eluates from dried blood collected on filter paper to detect anti- Leishmania
antibodies in dogs from a visceral leishmaniasis-endemic area in Brazil. Of 115 IFAT-reactive dogs at 1:40 titre, 106 (92.2%) were positive in parasitological exams (skin and/or spleen). These animals were compared to healthy animals (n = 25), negative for IFAT at a titre of 1:40 and parasitological exams. The sensitivities of crude and recombinant antigens were similar and remarkably high for both sera and eluates (97-100%). Specificity was higher than 96% for sera and eluates for different antigens, except for L. chagasi
antigen using eluates (88%). Concordance values among the tests were higher either for sera or eluates (J = 0.95-1.00). High concordances were observed between sera and eluates tested with different antigens (kappa = 0.93-0.97). Crude and recombinant antigens identified different clinical phases of canine leishmaniasis. These results show that eluates could be used in canine surveys to identify L. chagasi
infection. Recombinant antigens added little when compared to crude antigen in identifying positive dogs. Cross-reactivity with other diseases whose distribution often overlaps VL-endemic areas is a limitation of crude antigen use however.