Serologic Diagnosis of Schistosoma Mansoni Infections

I. Development of a Cercarial Antigen Slide Flocculation Test

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  • U. S. Army Tropical Research Medical Laboratory, San Juan, Puerto Rico


The reaction of cercarial antigen-cholesterol-lecithin complex with schistosome antibody provides a simple sensitive slide flocculation test for schistosome infections.

Capacity of the antigen emulsion to react with homologous antibody was greatly increased by removing the antigen-cholesterol-lecithin complex from the salt solution in which it was prepared and resuspending the complex in fresh salt solution.

The S. mansoni cercarial antigen used in the test also reacted with sera from patients with S. japonicum and S. haematobium infections.

While specificity of the test was excellent in other helminthic diseases, cross-reactions with the S. mansoni antigen and T. spiralis anti-sera did occur. This finding is consistent with those obtained from other tests using cercarial antigens.

The excellent sensitivity (98%) and simplicity of the procedure make the test ideally suited for field and survey purposes.

Author Notes

Major, MSC, USA. Present address: Department of Biology, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C.