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Echinococcus multilocularis Coproantigen Detection by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay in Fox, Dog, and Cat Populations

Peter Deplazes, Peter Alther, Isabelle Tanner, R. C. Andrew Thompson and Johannes Eckert
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 85, No. 1 (Feb., 1999), pp. 115-121
DOI: 10.2307/3285713
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3285713
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Echinococcus multilocularis Coproantigen Detection by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay in Fox, Dog, and Cat Populations
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Abstract

A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of Echinococcus multilocularis coproantigens (EM-ELISA) was developed with polyclonal rabbit (solid phase) and chicken egg (catching) antibodies that were directed against E. multilocularis coproantigens and somatic worm antigens, respectively. In experimentally infected dogs and cats, coproantigens were first detectable 6-17 days postinfection (PI) in samples of 8 dogs (worm burdens at necropsy: 6,330-43,200) and from 11 days PI onward in samples of 5 cats infected with 20-6,833 worms. After anthelmintic treatment of 4 dogs and 5 cats at day 20 PI, coproantigen excretion disappeared within 3-5 days. The sensitivity of the ELISA was 83.6% in 55 foxes infected with 4-60,000 E. multilocularis, but reached 93.3% in the 45 foxes harboring more than 20 worms. The EM-ELISA was used in surveys of "normal" dog and cat populations in Switzerland. Among 660 dogs and 263 cats, 5 dogs and 2 cats exhibited a positive reaction. In 2 of these dogs (0.30%) and 1 cat (0.38%), intestinal E. multilocularis infections were confirmed by necropsy, polymerase chain reaction PCR, or both. The specificities of the ELISA in these groups were found to be 99.5% and 99.6%, respectively, if positive ELISA results that could not be confirmed by other methods were classified as "false positive" reactions.

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