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Application of Recombinant Angiostrongylus cantonensis Galectin-2 Protein for Serodiagnosis of Human Angiostrongyliasis by Immunoblotting

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  • 1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand;
  • | 2 Research and Diagnostic Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Mekong Health Science Research Institute, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand;
  • | 3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
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Angiostrongyliasis is a foodborne disease caused by a zoonotic nematode, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which produces eosinophilic meningitis or meningoencephalitis (EOM) in humans. Definitive diagnosis is rarely possible because worms are almost never recovered from patients. Human disease can be diagnosed by clinical symptoms and serological tests. Presently, diagnosis is performed by serological detection of antibodies against specific somatic antigens (molecular mass 29–31 kDa) extracted from female worms. The life cycle of A. cantonensis must be maintained in the laboratory to provide a source of this diagnostic antigen. Here, we cloned and expressed recombinant A. cantonensis galectin-2 (rAcGal2) corresponding to a 31-kDa antigenic peptide. Recombinant protein was purified and used in immunoblot tests, which showed reactions with human serum panels consisting of six confirmed angiostrongyliasis and 24 clinically diagnosed cases of EOM-associated with angiostrongyliasis, 160 samples from patients with other parasitic infections, and 30 samples from normal healthy subjects. Accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were 95.0%, 93.3%, 95.3%, 75.7%, and 98.9%, respectively. The test was nonreactive with sera of human gnathostomiasis and cysticercosis, two diseases that could present similar neurological symptoms. Recombinant AcGal2 has potential as a diagnostic antigen and could replace native parasite antigens in further development of an angiostrongyliasis serodiagnostic test kit.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Wanchai Maleewong, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. E-mail: wanch_ma@kku.ac.th

Financial support: This study was supported by Distinguished Research Professor Grant, Thailand Research Fund (P. M. I. and W. M.), and Khon Kaen University. C. S. was supported by a scholarship under the Post-Doctoral Training Program from the Research and Technology Transfer Affairs and Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, Thailand (grant no. 59146).

Authors’ addresses: Chalermchai Somboonpatarakun, Pewpan M. Intapan, Oranuch Sanpool, and Wanchai Maleewong, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, and Research and Diagnostic Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Mekong Health Science Research Institute, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mails: chalermchai.cs@gmail.com, pewpan@kku.ac.th, oransa@kku.ac.th, and wanch_ma@kku.ac.th. Chaisiri Wongkham, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mail: chaisiri@kku.ac.th.

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