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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of a 17-kilodalton Fasciola hepatica immunodiagnostic antigen by the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot technique.

Sera obtained from human patients, calves, sheep, and rabbits infected with Fasciola hepatica were tested by the Falcon assay screening test enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (FAST-ELISA) and the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) techniques with Fasciola hepatica excretory-secretory antigens in order to evaluate their immunodiagnostic potential. The study included sera from 13 patients infected with F. hepatica or a history suggesting fascioliasis, 5 patients infected and treated with bithionol or praziquantel (3 were cured with bithionol), 10 patients infected with Schistosoma mansoni, 6 infected with Trichinella spiralis, and 13 controls and sera from calves, sheep, and rabbits with a primary F. hepatica infection. By FAST-ELISA with F. hepatica excretory-secretory antigens, the serum samples from fascioliasis patients gave the highest absorbance values, and the schistosomiasis patient sera gave intermediate values compared with a normal human serum control. Also by FAST-ELISA, the values for serum from patients with fascioliasis decreased steadily after cure, reaching normal levels 20 to 47 weeks postcure. In contrast, the serum from two patients who had been treated but were not yet cured had high levels of antibodies for up to 3 years of infection. By EITB, the serum samples from humans, rabbits, cattle, and sheep with fascioliasis recognized two antigenic polypeptides of 17 and 63 kilodaltons (kDa) in the form of sharp bands. For humans, this recognition lasted for at least 3 years of infection. Sera from individuals with schistosomiasis mansoni or trichinosis or from normal controls did not recognize the 17-kDa F. hepatica antigenic polypeptide. However, serum from one human with S. mansoni and one with T. spiralis infection has slight bands in the 63-kDa region, suggesting cross-reactivity. Reactivity to the 17-kDa polypeptide was absent in fascioliasis patients at 1 year postcure. Reactivity to the 63-kDa polypeptide was significantly diminished in fascioliasis patients at 1 year postcure. The sera from rabbits with a primary F. hepatica infection also recognized both the 17- and 63-kDa antigenic polypeptides by week 4 of infection. Reactivity to both antigens diminished significantly 6 weeks postcure and disappeared by 8 weeks postcure. The sera from infected cattle and sheep recognized these two antigenic polypeptides by week 8 of infection. These studies suggest that the 17-kDa F. hepatica excretory secretory antigen is an excellent candidate for the immunodiagnosis of acute and chronic fascioliasis. Purification of this antigen and its application to quantitative serologic tests will permit further analysis of its predictive value to evaluate cure.[1]


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