Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (Elisa) for Detecting IgM and IgE Antibodies in Human Schistosomiasis

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  • Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20205

Sera from patients with acute or early and chronic schistosomiasis were examined for IgG, IgM, and IgE antibody by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique, using soluble egg antigen from Schistosoma mansoni. Cercarial/adult IgG antibody ratios were determined, using soluble cercarial and adult worm antigens. Sera with cercarial/adult ratios indicative of acute or early schistosomiasis also contained specific IgM antibodies. Schistosome IgE antibody was found in sera from patients with acute schistosomiasis, but in only 1 of 10 sera from patients with chronic schistosomiasis. The inability of ELISA to detect IgE antibodies in chronic sera indicates that it may be a relatively insensitive measure of IgE antibodies in those patients with chronic schistosomiasis.