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Performance of a Sandwich Antigen-Detection ELISA for the Diagnosis of Porcine Taenia solium Cysticercosis

Javier A. BustosDepartment of Microbiology, School of Sciences and Center for Global Health–Tumbes, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
Cysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurologicas, Lima, Peru;

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Berenice E. NinaquispeSchool of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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Silvia RodriguezCysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurologicas, Lima, Peru;

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Yesenia CastilloCysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurologicas, Lima, Peru;

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Susan Y. YangSchool of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland;

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Robert H. GilmanDepartment of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland;

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Pierre DornyInstitute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium;

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Sarah GabriëlDepartment of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

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Héctor H. GarcíaDepartment of Microbiology, School of Sciences and Center for Global Health–Tumbes, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
Cysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurologicas, Lima, Peru;

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Armando E. GonzalezSchool of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;

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for the Cysticercosis Working Group in PeruDepartment of Microbiology, School of Sciences and Center for Global Health–Tumbes, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru;
Cysticercosis Unit, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurologicas, Lima, Peru;
School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru;
School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland;
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland;
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium;
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

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The pig is the natural intermediate host of Taenia solium, a parasite causing significant burden of disease in both humans and pigs. Porcine cysticercosis is traditionally detected via tongue palpation and slaughterhouse meat inspection, both with limited sensitivity. Serum antibody detection has a better performance; however, it does not discriminate past from present infection. Serum antigen detection can demonstrate viable infection and gives a good estimate of parasitic load. This study evaluated a sandwich antigen-detection ELISA using monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) 158C11 and 60H8 for the diagnosis of viable cysticercosis in pigs. Serum samples were used from 35 naturally T. solium cysticerci–infected pigs, 31 cysticercosis-negative pigs, and 22 pigs with Taenia hydatigena infection (to assess cross-reactions). Positive cysticercosis samples were subcategorized at necropsy according to parasitic burden as mild (1–10 viable cysts, n = 10), moderate (11–100 cysts, n = 5), or severe infection (more than 100 cysts, n = 20). This Ag-ELISA showed a sensitivity of 82.9% and a specificity of 96.8% when not considering cross-reactions with T. hydatigena. Hundred percentage of severely infected, 80% of moderately infected, and 50% of mildly T. solium–infected pigs tested positive. Twenty of 22 pigs with only T. hydatigena infections were positive, with 13 reaching saturating levels in the ELISA. The Ag-ELISA revealed the presence of live cysts and is, thus, a fairly reliable test to monitor experimental infection, response to treatment, and follow-up in animal models of cysticercosis. It should, however, be carefully interpreted when used in regions where T. hydatigena is endemic in pigs.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Javier A. Bustos, Centro de Salud Global–Tumbes, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, H. Delgado 430, SMP, Lima 31, Peru, E-mail: javier.bustos@jhu.edu or Susan Y. Yang, School of Medicine, University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, E-mail: susanchyang@gmail.com.

Financial support: Partial support from the Fogarty International Center/NIH Training grants D43TW001140, D43TW008273, and NIH-R01-AI116456 is acknowledged.

Authors’ addresses: Javier A. Bustos, Center for Global Health, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: javier.bustos@jhu.edu. Berenice E. Ninaquispe and Armando E. Gonzalez, Department of Veterinary Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima, Peru, E-mails: esthervet04@yahoo.es and agonzale@jhsph.edu. Yesenia Castillo, Department of Microbiology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, E-mail: yesenia.castillo.b@upch.pe. Susan Y. Yang, School of Medicine, University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, E-mail: susanchyang@gmail.com. Robert H. Gilman, International Health, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mail: gilmanbob@gmail.com. Pierre Dorny, Biomedical Sciences, Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde, Antwerp, Belgium, E-mail: pdorny@itg.be. Sarah Gabriël, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, E-mail: sarah.gabriel@ugent.be. Héctor H. García, Department of Microbiology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, and Transmissible Diseases, Instituto de Ciencias Neurologicas, Lima, Peru, E-mail: hgarcia@jhsph.edu.

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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