Diagnosis of Paragonimiasis by Immunoblot

Susan B. Slemenda Division of Parasitic Diseases

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Shirley E. Maddison Division of Parasitic Diseases

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Elaine C. Jong Division of Host Factors, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia 30333

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Deborah D. Moore University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington 98195

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A sensitive and specific immunoblot assay was used to rapidly and accurately diagnose paragonimiasis. The immunoreactivity of a complex Paragonimus westermani Chaffee antigen was evaluated by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis. Initial probing with pooled human serum from proven Paragonimus infections revealed many bands, including a significant antibody response to an approximately 8,000 molecular weight (8 kDa) protein. Forty-three of 45 proven paragonimiasis serum specimens had antibodies to this diagnostic band. Of 29 normal serum specimens and 210 serum specimens from patients with other parasitic and nonparasitic infections, only 1 serum, from a schistosomiasis haematobium patient, reacted positively. These results indicate that our immunoblot for paragonimiasis, which uses a comparatively crude antigen, is highly sensitive (96%) and specific (99%).

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