Immunoblotting with human native antigen shows stage-related sensitivity in the serodiagnosis of hepatic cystic echinococcosis

Mara Mariconti, Chiara Bazzocchi, Francesca Tamarozzi, Valeria Meroni, Francesca Genco, Roberta Maserati, Enrico Brunetti

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The diagnosis of hepatic cystic echinococcosis is based on ultrasonography and confirmed by serology. However, no biological marker of cyst viability is currently available implying years-long patient follow-up, which is not always feasible in endemic areas. We characterized the performance of an immunoblotting test based on human hydatid cyst fluid with particular regard to its ability to distinguish between cyst stages. Sera from patients with cysts in different stages showed distinctive band pattern recognition. Most importantly, the test discriminated in 80% of cases CE3a from CE3b transitional cysts, known to have different viability profiles. Interestingly, we observed a rapid change in band pattern recognition of sera from one patient at time points when his cyst passed from active to transitional to inactive stages. Further identification of different antigens expressed by different cyst stages will support the development of diagnostic tools that could early define cyst viability, to guide clinical decision making, and shorten patient follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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