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Dot immunogold filtration assay (DIGFA) for the rapid detection of specific antibodies against the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda: Metastrongyloidea) using purified 31-kDa antigen

  • P. Eamsobhana (a1), X.X. Gan (a2), A. Ma (a2), Y. Wang (a2), D. Wanachiwanawin (a1) and H.S. Yong (a3)...


A rapid dot immunogold filtration assay (DIGFA) was adopted for specific immunodiagnosis of human cerebral angiostrongyliasis, using purified 31-kDa glycoprotein specific to Angiostrongylus cantonensis as diagnostic antigen and protein A colloidal gold conjugate as antigen–antibody detector. A total of 59 serum samples were assayed – 11 samples from clinically diagnosed patients with detectable A. cantonensis-specific antibody in immunoblotting; 23 samples from patients with other related parasitic diseases, i.e. gnathostomiasis (n= 8), cysticercosis (n= 5), toxocariasis (n= 2), filariasis (n= 4), paragonimiasis (n= 2) and malaria (n= 2); and 25 samples from normal healthy subjects. The sensitivity and specificity of DIGFA to detect anti-A. cantonensis specific antibodies in serologically confirmed angiostrongyliasis cases, were both 100%. No positive DIGFA was observed in cases with other parasitic diseases, and the healthy control subjects. The 3-min DIGFA is as sensitive and specific as the 3-h immunoblot test in angiostrongyliasis confirmed cases that revealed a 31-kDa reactive band. The gold-based DIGFA is more rapid and easier to perform than the traditional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The test utilizing purified A. cantonensis antigen is reliable and reproducible for specific immunodiagnosis of human infection with A. cantonensis – thus can be applied as an additional routine test for clinical diagnostic support. Large-scale sero-epidemiological studies in endemic communities in north-east Thailand are under way to evaluate its usefulness under field conditions.


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Journal of Helminthology
  • ISSN: 0022-149X
  • EISSN: 1475-2697
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