Serum antibodies in canine echinococcosis

R. B. Gassera, D. J. Jenkins, E. Paolillo, L. Parada, P. Cabrera, P. S. Craig

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Gasser R. B., Jenkins D. J., Paolillo E., Parada L., Cabrera P. and Craig P. S. 1993. Serum antibodies in canine echinococcosis. International Journal for Parasitology 23: 579-586. Specific IgG, IgA and IgE antibodies against E. granulosus protoscolex antigen were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in sera from dogs experimentally or naturally infected with E. granulosus. The specificities of the IgG, IgA and IgE ELISAs were 100,100 and 97.3%, respectively. Sera from 626 dogs of different categories and geographic regions in Australia, Uruguay and Kenya were tested. There were distinct differences in antibody responses in experimentally infected canids and in the number of naturally infected dogs found seropositive, depending on geographic region. The overall sensitivities of the ELISA (IgG, IgA and IgE) ranged between 73 and 84%, except for one geographic region where it was 54%. Genetic differences of the dogs and/or antigenic variations of the parasite appear to be responsible for the variations in specific antibody levels in infected dogs. In average, approximately one third of dogs from hyperendemic hydatid regions, without E. granulosus worms at autopsy or negative for E. granulosus infection by arecoline testing, were seropositive for anti-E. granulosus antibodies, suggesting previous infection with or exposure to the parasite. The results of this study demonstrate that, although the diagnosis of current intestinal E. granulosus infection on an individual dog basis is not always reliable by serology, serum antibody ELISA is useful as an epidemiological/educational tool for seroprevalence studies on canine echinococcosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-586
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993


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