Volume 51, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclass-specific antibody responses were investigated in both human cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and Western blotting. Sera were tested from 81 CE and 50 AE surgically confirmed cases using partially purified hydatid cyst fluid antigen B (EgB), and crude hydatid cyst fluid (EgCF) from and a protoscolex extract (EmP) prepared from metacestodes. Eighty-nine percent of CE patients and 94% of AE patients were seropositive for total IgG antibodies. The dominant IgG antibody isotype in both CE and AE was IgG4, for which 73% of CE and 84% of AE cases were seropositive in the ELISA. Anti- IgG1 antibodies were detected in 58% of CE and 84% of AE patients. Sensitivity for IgG2 and IgG3 was significantly lower for both CE and AE patients. The IgG4 antibodies in CE patients predominantly recognized the antigen B subunits, i.e., at 20, 16 and 12 kD, while IgG1 antibodies primarily bound to the 38-kD subunit of antigen 5 from hydatid fluid. The possible functional significance of an IgG4 response and the potential use of combined assessment of total IgG, IgG1, and IgG4 antibodies in serologic diagnosis and follow-up for human echinococcosis are discussed.


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