Parasitology


Supplement
Current status

Diagnosis of schistosomiasis: antibody detection, with notes on parasitological and antigen detection methods


J. V. HAMILTON a1, M. KLINKERT a2 and M. J. DOENHOFF a1c1
a1 School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK, LL57 2UW
a2 Institute of Cell Biology, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 43 Viale Marx, 00137 Rome, Italy

Abstract

Schistosomiasis remains a serious world-wide public health problem with a still unfulfilled need for routine cost-effective methods of diagnosis. Such methods are required not only for people in endemic areas, but increasingly for tourists who may have become infected during visits to such places. This article reviews the wide range of immunoassays and antigenic preparations that have been shown to have potential for diagnosis of schistosomiasis by the indirect method of antibody detection. Antigens in native form derived from cercariae, adult worms and eggs are considered, as well as schistosome antigens produced by recombinant DNA technology and the schistosome cross-reactive antigen, keyhole limpet haemocyanin (KLH). Respective advantages and disadvantages of antibody detection, circulating antigen detection and parasitological methods of diagnosis are analysed. It is suggested that due to the relative insensitivity of both parasitology and antigen detection, antibody detection methods could find increasing use in situations of low infection intensity.


Key Words: schistosomiasis; diagnosis; immunodiagnosis; serology; S. mansoni; S. haematobium; S. japonicum; KLH.

Correspondence:
c1 Corresponding author.


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