Research Article

Immunodiagnosis of taeniasis by coproantigen detection

J. C. Allana1, G. Avilaa2, J. Garcia Novala3, A. Flissera2 and P. S. Craiga1

a1 Department of Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA, UK

a2 Instituto de Investigaciones Biomedicas, Apartado Postal 70228, Ciudad Universitaria, 04150, Mexico D.F.

a3 Centro de Investigaciones de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala City, Guatemala C.A.


Immunodiagnostic tests for Taenia-specific faecal antigen based on polyclonal rabbit antisera against Taenia saginata or Taenia solium proglottid extracts in capture-type ELISA assays have been developed. Taenia-specific antigen was detected in detergent-solubilized faecal extracts from T. solium- and T. saginata-infected hosts. Coproantigen from T. solium-infected hamsters did not cross-react with faeces from rodents infected with Hymenolepis diminuta, H. citelli, H. micro-stoma, Necator americanus, Strongyloides ratti or Nematospiroides dubius and faeces from uninfected animals. When the T. saginata-capture ELISA was tested with faecal samples positive for T. solium antigen, no cross-reactions were obtained. However, faecal samples from humans infected with T. solium or T. saginata, including some with extremely low egg counts, were cross-reactive by either test. Nevertheless, considerably higher O.D. values were obtained with stool samples from Taenia patients compared to Hymenolepis nana-infected or uninfected individuals. Two individuals, infected with Taenia sp. and positive for coproantigens by ELISA, became antigen-negative 6 days after treatment with Niclosamide. The possibility of developing species-specific immunodiagnostic tests for human taeniasis through coproantigen detection is discussed.

(Accepted June 01 1990)