Identification of Snails Infected with Schistosomes by Elisa Employing Monoclonal Antibodies: Schistosoma mansoni in Laboratory Snails (Biomphalaria glabrata) and in Field Snails (Biomphalaria pfeifferi) from Kenya

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  • Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Ministry of Health and the Kenya Medical Research Institute, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel

An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) employing monoclonal antibodies was used for detecting Schistosoma mansoni antigens in hemolymph of laboratory snails (Biomphalaria glabrata) in Kenya. Infected laboratory snails shedding cercariae were differentially identified by ELISA from uninfected snails with 100% sensitivity and specificity. Prepatent infections were detected by ELISA from 2 weeks after exposure to miracidia. Thus, ELISA revealed infection 3 weeks before maximal patency was reached (5–6 weeks post-exposure).

Infected field snails (B. pfeifferi) shedding cercariae were differentially identified by ELISA, with 100% sensitivity and specificity, from uninfected field snails and from snails naturally infected with other trematodes (echinostomes and strigeids). Prepatent infections with S. mansoni were readily identified by ELISA in field snails. A case is demonstrated where infection rate, as determined by shedding test alone, was 9.8%, whereas the combined figure of prepatent and patent infection rates was 22.9%.

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