Parasite Antigens in Sera and Urine of Patients with Bancroftian and Brugian Filariasis Detected by Sandwich Elisa with Monoclonal Antibodies

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  • * Department of Filariasis, Guizhou Provincial Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Guiyang, People's Republic of China
  • | Department of Biochemistry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, India
  • | Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115
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We developed a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect circulating parasite antigens in human lymphatic filariasis. The assay utilizes a polyclonal rabbit antifilarial antiserum to capture, and a monoclonal antibody to identify, circulating parasite antigen. Using this assay, we found that >95% of sera from microfilaremic donors with bancrofitian or brugian filariasis, approximately 60% of sera from amicrofilaremic patients with hydroceles, chyluria, or elephantiasis, and 15%–20% of sera from asymptomatic residents of filariasis-endemic areas evidently contain filarial antigens. Antigen was also detected in the urine of some microfilaremic patients. Serum levels of antigen detected with one monoclonal antibody, ES34, correlated well with microfilarial density in night blood. In contrast, < 5% of sera from residents of areas where lymphatic filariasis is not endemic reacted in the assay, even though approximately one-third of the donors whose sera were tested were known to be infected with intestinal nematodes. The assay was designed to be flexible enough to allow the parallel use of multiple monoclonal antibodies with different specificities and simple enough to be applicable in most areas where lymphatic filariasis is endemic.