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Vet Parasitol. 2010 Oct 29;173(3-4):336-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.05.002. Epub 2010 May 11.

Comparison of ELISA and PCR assays for the diagnosis of porcine cysticercosis.

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Laboratoire de Parasitologie, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, BP 1274 Antananarivo 101, Madagascar.


Cysticercosis is a zoonotic disease due to Taenia solium, which involves porcines as intermediate host. It is endemic in Madagascar, however minimal data has been reported concerning porcine cysticercosis prevalence. Lack of ante-mortem diagnostic tools renders the evaluation of its prevalence difficult. Tongue palpation is specific but has poor sensitivity. Serological tests detecting antigens or antibodies are sensitive to human cysticercosis and apt for diagnosis but are not yet considered as a gold standard in porcine ante-mortem examination. PCR are widely used to detect pathogens but also poorly evaluated in regards to the diagnosis of cysticercosis. We compare the performance of PCR and ELISA assays on 67 pig serums: 22 from cysticercosis positive pigs (meat inspection) and 45 from cysticercosis negative animals (originating from a non-endemic country or grown in industrial and well isolated pigsties). Among the negative samples 19 were collected from pigs with trichinellosis and 4 from pigs with toxoplasmosis. Results indicate that ELISA assay showed high sensitivity and good specificity while the PCR assays showed high specificity but a low sensitivity.

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