Use of Echinococcus granulosus worm antigens for immunodiagnosis of E. granulosus infection in dogs

R. B. Gasser, D. J. Jenkins, D. D. Heath, S. B. Lawrence

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Echinococcus granulosus worm excretory/secretory antigens (WES) were used in ELISA for diagnosis of E. granulosus infection in dogs and compared with protoscolex somatic antigens (PSM). Sera from 224 dogs were tested. There was no correlation between ELISA absorbance values and E. granulosus worm burdens using either antigen. There was a significant linear relationship between absorbance values of sera tested in the ELISA using WES (W-ELISA) and the ELISA using PSM (P-ELISA). However, there was a small but significant difference between the absorbance values of the sera tested against the two antigens. Western blot analysis of WES using sera from E. granulosus-infected and uninfected dogs revealed antigenic components of relative molecular mass (Mr) larger than 94 000, Mr 94 000-68 000 and Mr 43 000-39 000 in worms, and these werespecific for E. granulosus and not identified in PSM; these antigenic differences may be responsible for differences in reactivity in ELISA. The sensitivities of W-ELISA and P-ELISA were 80.8% and 75.6, respectively. The specificities of W-ELISA and P-ELISA were 93.7% and 97.9%, respectively. The reduced specificity in W-ELISA was mainly attributable to increased background reactivity of sera from Taenia hydatigena-infected dogs. Despite the reduction in specificity, both ELISAs are valuable epidemiological tools to determine the prevalence of antibody to E. granulosus in dog populations and to monitor the success of hydatid control campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1992


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