Diagnostic Performances of Commercial ELISA, Indirect Hemagglutination, and Western Blot in Differentiation of Hepatic Echinococcal and Non-Echinococcal Lesions: A Retrospective Analysis of Data from a Single Referral Centre

Ambra Vola, Tommaso Manciulli, Annalisa De Silvestri, Raffaella Lissandrin, Mara Mariconti, Mar Siles-Lucas, Enrico Brunetti, Francesca Tamarozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The diagnosis of cystic echinococcosis (CE) is based on imaging. Serology supports imaging in suspected cases, but no consensus exists on the algorithm to apply when imaging is inconclusive. We performed a retrospective analysis of serology results of patients with untreated hepatic CE and non-CE lesions, seen from 2005 to 2017, to evaluate their accuracy in the differential diagnosis of hepatic CE. Serology results of three seroassays for echinococcosis (ELISA RIDASCREEN, indirect hemagglutination (IHA) Cellognost, and Western blot LDBIO) and clinical characteristics of eligible patients were retrieved. Patients were grouped as having active or inactive CE and liquid or solid non-CE lesions. Sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic accuracy were compared between scenarios encompassing different test combinations. Eligible patients included 104 patients with CE and 257 with non-CE lesions. Sensitivity and diagnostic accuracy of Western blot (WB) were significantly higher than those of the following: 1) IHA or ELISA alone, 2) IHA+ELISA interpreted as positive if both or either tests positive, and 3) IHA+ELISA confirmed by WB if discordant. The best performances were obtained when WB was applied on discordant or concordant negative IHA+ELISA. Analyses performed within "active CE (n = 52) versus liquid non-CE (n = 245)" and "inactive CE (n = 52) versus solid non-CE (n = 12)" groups showed similar results. Specificity was high for all tests (0.99-1.00) and did not differ between test combination scenarios. WB may be the best test to apply in a one-test approach. Two first-level tests confirmed by WB seem to provide the best diagnostic accuracy. Further studies should be performed in different settings, especially where lower test specificity is likely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1345-1349
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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