Development of a serologic assay to detect Taenia solium taeniasis.

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  • 1 Immunology Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3724, USA.

We developed a serologic assay to identify adult Taenia solium tapeworm carriers using excretory/secretory (TSES) antigens collected from in vitro cultured T. solium tapeworms. To identify taeniasis-specific antigens we used an immunoblot assay with serum samples from T. solium tapeworm carriers and cysticercosis patients. Antigens were identified that reacted with antibodies present in serum samples from taeniasis cases and not with those from cysticercosis patients. Using serum samples collected from persons with confirmed T. solium tapeworm infections, the test was determined to be 95% (69 of 73) sensitive. Serum samples (n = 193) from persons with other parasitic infections, including T. saginata tapeworm infections, do not contain cross-reacting antibodies to TSES, indicating that the assay is 100% specific. These data suggest that the immunoblot assay using TSES antigens can be used to identify persons with current or recent T. solium tapeworm infections and provides a new, important tool for epidemiologic purposes, including control and prevention strategies.

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