Charles Bowesman, O.B.E., B.A., M.D., F.R.C.S.E., F.A.C.S., D.T.M.&H., Editor. 1st edition, 1068 + viii pages, illustrated. Edinburgh and London, E. & S. Livingstone Ltd. (The Williams & Wilkins Co., Baltimore, exclusive U.S. agents), 1960. $22.50
Our laboratory recently developed a diagnostic test (ELISA) for human fascioliasis based on the detection of serum IgG4 antibodies reactive with Fasciola hepatica cathepsin L1 (CL1). In the present study, we have used recombinant CL1, generated by functional expression of the cDNA in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in this immunodiagnostic test and compared its performance with native CL1. Sera obtained from 64 individuals living in Cutusuma village in the northern Altiplano of Bolivia, a region with a high prevalence of human fascioliasis, were analyzed by the IgG4-ELISA. A highly statistically significant correlation (r2 = 0.751, P < 0.001) was demonstrated between the absorbances obtained using the recombinant and native proteins. These assays showed that 38 (59%) of the individuals tested were seropositive for fascioliasis, whereas only 26 of them were coprologically positive for F. hepatica eggs. All seronegative patients were also coprologically negative. Serum from individuals infected with schistosomiasis mansoni, cysticercosis, hydatidosis, and Chagas disease did not contain antibodies reactive with the recombinant or native CL1. Therefore, recombinant CL1 shows excellent potential for the development of the first standardized assay for the sensitive and specific diagnosis of human fascioliasis. Finally, our data supports earlier reports on the high prevalence of human fascioliasis in the Bolivian Altiplano, which collectively suggest that the disease has been endemic there for more than a decade.