Schistosomiasis mansoni: immunoblot analysis to diagnose and differentiate recent and chronic infection.

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  • 1 Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil.

One hundred seven patients classified into three different groups (11 with acute schistosomiasis, 58 with chronic schistosomiasis, and 38 children with high IgM-specific antibody titers against schistosome gut-associated antigens living in an endemic schistosomiasis area) were studied by immunoblotting for the presence of IgG, IgM, and IgA antibodies against Schistosoma mansoni soluble adult worm antigen preparation. We used sera from 15 individuals infected with various intestinal parasites, as well as sera from 19 uninfected individuals, as controls. An immunogenic fraction with a molecular weight of 31-32 kD (Sm31/32) was the most frequently recognized by the different antibody isotypes. In the group with acute disease, this fraction was recognized by IgG and IgM antibodies of all patients, and by 10 (90.9%) of 11 samples for IgA antibodies. Approximately 98% of the patients with chronic infections had IgG antibodies against Sm31/32, but only about 10% had IgM and IgA antibodies against this fraction. The IgG immunoblot profiles of the children from the endemic area were similar to those obtained for the group with acute schistosomiasis. This observation suggests recent infection of these children. Our data show that the Sm31/32 protein fraction is highly immunogenic and may be a useful serologic marker for diagnosing and differentiating between acute and chronic schistosomiasis infection.