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Monitoring specific antibody responses against the hydrophilic domain of the 23 kDa membrane protein of Schistosoma japonicum for early detection of infection in sentinel mice

Author(s): Wang Jie | Yu Chuan-Xin | Yin Xu-Ren | Zhang Wei | Qian Chun-Yan | Song Li-Jun | Ke Xue-Dan | Xu Yong-Liang | He Wei | Cao Guo-Qun

Journal: Parasites & Vectors
ISSN 1756-3305

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 172;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Abstract Background Schistosomiasis remains an important public health problem throughout tropical and subtropical countries. Humans are infected through contact with water contaminated with schistosome cercariae. Therefore, issuing early warnings on the risk of infection is an important preventive measure against schistosomiasis. Sentinel mice are used to monitor water body infestations, and identifying appropriate antibody responses to schistosome antigens for early detection of infection would help to improve the efficiency of this system. In this study we explored the potential of detecting antibodies to the hydrophilic domain (HD) of the 23-kDa membrane protein (Sj23HD) and soluble egg antigen (SEA) of Schistosome japonicum for early detection of schistosome infection in sentinel mice. Results Development of IgM and IgG antibody levels against Sj23HD and SEA in S. japonicum infected mice was evaluated over the course of 42 days post-infection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunoblotting. The Sj23HD and SEA specific IgM and IgG levels in mice all increased gradually over the course of infection, but IgM and IgG antibodies against Sj23HD presented earlier than those against SEA. Furthermore, the rates of positive antibody responses against Sj23HD were higher than those against SEA in the early stage of schistosome infection, suggesting that the likelihood of detecting early infection using anti-Sj23HD responses would be higher than that with anti-SEA responses. The use of immunoblotting could further improve the early detection of schistosome infection due to its greater sensitivity and specificity compared to ELISA. Additionally, the levels of Sj23HD and SEA specific antibodies positively correlated with the load of cercariae challenge and the duration of schistosome infection. Conclusions This study demonstrated that antibody responses to the Sj23HD antigen could be monitored for early detection of schistosome infection in mice, especially by immunoblotting which demonstrated greater sensitivity and specificity than ELISA for detection Sj23HD antibodies.
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