Volume 30, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This report describes the presence of circulating antigens (COA) in sera of patients with onchocerciasis. By using a double diffusion immunoelectrophoresis method, COA could be detected in 24 of 77 sera analyzed (31%). In contrast, when more sensitive assays such as the radioimmunoprecipitation-PEG assay or sandwich radioimmunoassay were used to detect COA, about 75% of the sera from -infected patients were found positive; moreover, a highly significant correlation between the two assays was observed. The parasite specificity of the COA was demonstrated directly by identity reaction with a component of somatic antigens. COA was never found when hyperimmune antisera against other parasite antigenic extracts were used instead of anti- hyperimmune serum. However, when anti- hyperimmune serum was used against sera obtained from patients infected with various other helminths we found a cross-reactivity between COA and the circulating antigens of other human filarids (), but not with other nematode or trematode parasites (). Further immunoelectrophoretic studies demonstrated one precipitin arc localized in the cathodic region which seemed specific for COA, which raises the possibility of preparing a monospecific hyperimmune serum to circumvent cross-reactivities.


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