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Improved serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis of humans using an in vitro-produced Echinococcus multilocularis antigen

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 February 2007

N. MÜLLER*
Affiliation:
Institute of Parasitology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
E. FREI
Affiliation:
Institute of Parasitology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
S. NUÑEZ
Affiliation:
Institute of Parasitology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
B. GOTTSTEIN*
Affiliation:
Institute of Parasitology, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland
*
*Corresponding authors: Institute of Parasitology, Länggass-Strasse 122, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland. Tel: +41 31 6312474 or +41 31 6312418. Fax: +41 31 6312622. E-mail: nmueller@ipa.unibe.ch or bruno.gottstein@ipa.unibe.ch
*Corresponding authors: Institute of Parasitology, Länggass-Strasse 122, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland. Tel: +41 31 6312474 or +41 31 6312418. Fax: +41 31 6312622. E-mail: nmueller@ipa.unibe.ch or bruno.gottstein@ipa.unibe.ch

Summary

Serology is an important tool for the diagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis (AE) in humans. In order to improve serodiagnostic performance, we have developed an in vitro-produced Echinococcus mulilocularis metacestode vesicle fluid (EmVF) antigen for application in an immunoblot assay. Immunoblot analysis of EmVF revealed an abundant immunoreactive band triplet of 20–22 kDa, achieving a sensitivity of 100% based on the testing of sera from 62 pre-operative and pre-treatment cases of active and inactive AE. Thus, the EmVF-immunoblotting allowed the specific detection of cases seronegative by the Em2- and/or EmII/3–10-ELISA, usually attributable to abortive, inactive cases of AE. The specificity of the EmVF-immunoblotting did not allow discrimination between AE and cystic echinococcosis (CE) but was 100% with respect to non-Echinococcus parasitic infections or cancer malignancies. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that the current ELISA test combination (Em2- and II/3–10-ELISA) be complemented with EmVF-immunoblotting, allowing an improved diagnosis of both clinical and subclinical forms of AE, including those associated with E. multilocularis-specific antibody reactivities not detectable by ELISA.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2007

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References

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Improved serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis of humans using an in vitro-produced Echinococcus multilocularis antigen
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