Volume 40, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) employing monoclonal antibodies was used for detecting antigens in hemolymph of laboratory snails () in Kenya. Infected laboratory snails shedding cercariae were differentially identified by ELISA from uninfected snails with 100% sensitivity and specificity. Prepatent infections were detected by ELISA from 2 weeks after exposure to miracidia. Thus, ELISA revealed infection 3 weeks before maximal patency was reached (5–6 weeks post-exposure).

Infected field snails () shedding cercariae were differentially identified by ELISA, with 100% sensitivity and specificity, from uninfected field snails and from snails naturally infected with other trematodes (echinostomes and strigeids). Prepatent infections with were readily identified by ELISA in field snails. A case is demonstrated where infection rate, as determined by shedding test alone, was 9.8%, whereas the combined figure of prepatent and patent infection rates was 22.9%.


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