The accuracy of the latex particle agglutination test (LPAT) was assessed in blood stained cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from 166 paediatric patients, aged from three months to 13 years. A commercial LPAT kit was used to detect Haemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Neisseria meningitidis A, B, and C soluble antigens. Culture of CSF specimens was used as the standard and all laboratory procedures were performed blind. The mean CSF erythrocyte count was 66,406 cells/mm3 in the cases and 11,560 cells/mm3 in the controls. The sensitivity and the specificity of LPAT were 83.8 and 94.0%, respectively, suggesting that LPAT is a useful diagnostic tool even in blood stained CSF specimens.
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