Volume 52, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



A monoclonal antibody-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAb-ELISA) was evaluated for its potential in the diagnosis of opisthorchiasis in an area endemic for infection. The method, based on the detection of the 89-kD metabolic antigen in the feces (coproantigen), was previously estimated to be sensitive enough to detect antigen excreted by a single mature fluke. In the present study, fecal specimens from 207 apparently healthy villagers in northeastern Thailand were analyzed in a double-blind test for the presence of eggs by microscopic examination and for antigen by MAb-ELISA. The microscopic examination was carefully done to minimize false-positive results due to eggs of trematodes. The specimens were divided into six groups based on the number of eggs per gram of feces, namely, egg negative, 1–500, 501–1,500, 1,501–3,000, 3,001–6,000, and more than 6,000. The results showed that the ELISA is sufficiently sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of infection. The slightly higher rate of coproantigen positive by the ELISA compared with microscopic examination may reflect lower specificity of the ELISA or its higher sensitivity over microscopic examination in detecting light infections. Different lines of evidence presented here support the latter explanation.


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