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Acta Trop. 2006 Feb;97(2):219-28. Epub 2005 Dec 28.

Use of circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) dipsticks for detection of intestinal and urinary schistosomiasis.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK.


An evaluation of a commercially available antigen capture dipstick that detects schistosome circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) in urine was conducted in representative endemic areas for intestinal and urinary schistosomiasis in Uganda and Zanzibar, respectively. Under field-based conditions, the sensitivity (SS) and specificity (SP) of the dipstick was 83 and 81% for detection of Schistosoma mansoni infections while positive predictive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) were 84%. Light egg-positive infections were sometimes CCA-negative while CCA-positives included egg-negative children. A positive association between faecal egg output and intensity of CCA test band was observed. Estimating prevalence of intestinal schistosomiasis by school with dipsticks was highly correlated (r=0.95) with Kato-Katz stool examinations, typically within +/-8.5%. In Zanzibar, however, dipsticks totally failed to detect S. haematobium despite examining children with egg-patent schistosomiasis. This was also later corroborated by further surveys in Niger and Burkina Faso. Laboratory testing of dipsticks with aqueous adult worm lysates from several reference species showed correct functioning, however, dipsticks failed to detect CCA in urine from S. haematobium-infected hamsters. While CCA dipsticks are a good alternative, or complement, to stool microscopy for field diagnosis of intestinal schistosomiasis, they have no proven value for field diagnosis of urinary schistosomiasis. At approximately 2.6 US dollars per dipstick, they are presently too expensive to be cost-effective for wide scale use in disease mapping surveys unless Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) strategies are developed.

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