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Immunol Invest. 2003 Aug;32(3):131-42.

Diagnosis of parasitic zoonoses by immunoenzymatic assays--analysis of cross-reactivity among the excretory/secretory antigens of Fasciola hepatica, Toxocara canis, and Ascaris suum.

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Parasitología y Enfermedades Parasitarias, Departamento de Patología Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria de Lugo, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Spain.


Several parasitic infections such fasciolosis, toxocariosis or ascariosis are important zoonoses. During the infection with Fasciola hepatica, Toxocara canis and Ascaris suum, an important intraorganic phase in their hosts takes place, releasing antigens responsible for a humoral immune response, which enables the diagnosis of that parasitosis. A study to identify the existence of cross-reactivity among the excretory/ secretory antigens of F. hepatica, T. canis and A. suum was developed. One group of Sprague-Dawley rats was infected with 20 metacercariae of F. hepatica and another group remained uninfected as control. By means of an Indirect-ELISA, the rat humoral immune response (IgG and IgM) against the excretory/secretory antigens of F. hepatica was analysed and measured for cross reactivity with T. canis and A. suum. IgM cross-reaction was mainly observed in the first 10 weeks post-infection. IgG cross-reaction was observed throughout the study, and was maximal at the 2-3 weeks and 3-6 weeks post-infection, which corresponds to the intraorganic migratory phase of these parasites. The western-blot showed that the rat IgG recognised three proteins of 190, 160 and 33 kDa in the antigens from F. hepatica, T. canis and A. suum. The existence of cross-reactivity among these antigens seems to demonstrate also the presence of structural similarities, such as tegumental proteins. These results should be consider when immunoassay probes are used in the diagnosis of parasitic infections.

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