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Exp Parasitol. 2011 May;128(1):18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2011.01.017. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Evaluation of the co-agglutination test in diagnosis of experimental microsporidiosis.

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Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt.


Microsporidiosis is an emerging and opportunistic infection associated with wide range of clinical syndromes in humans. Confirmation of the presence of microsporidia in different samples is laborious, costly and often difficult. The present study was designed to evaluate the utility of the Co-agglutination test (Co-A test) for detection of urinary, fecal and circulating microsporidial antigens in experimentally infected mice. One hundred and twenty male Swiss albino mice were divided into non infected control and infected experimental groups which were further subdivided into two equal subgroups; immunosuppressed and immunocompetent. Microsporidial spores were isolated from human stools and identified to be Encephalitozoon intestinalis by the molecular methods. They were used to infect each subgroup of mice, then their urine, stools and sera were collected at the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th days post-infection (PI). Co-A test, using prepared hyperimmune serum, was used to detect antigens in all samples collected. The cross reactivity of microsporidial hyperimmune sera with antigens of Cyclospora cyatenensis and Cryptosporidium parvum was investigated by Co-A test. The results showed that Co-A test was effective in detecting microsporidial antigen in stool of immunosuppressed infected mice from the 1st day PI, and in urine and serum from the 3rd day PI till the end of the study. In the immunocompetent subgroup, Co-A test detected microsporidial antigens in stool, serum and urine of mice from the 1st day, 3rd day and the 5th day PI, respectively till the end of the study, without cross reactivity with C. cyatenensis or C. parvum in both subgroups. Co-A test proved to be simple and suitable tool for detecting microsporidial antigen in different specimens and did not need sophisticated equipment. It is very practical under field or rural conditions and in poorly equipped clinical laboratories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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