Present aspects of immunodiagnosis of schistosomiasis

Abstract

Facilitated and improved by advances in molecular biology, techniques for the immunodiagnosis of schistosomiasis, including assays based on the detection of antigens circulating in the serum and/or excreted in the urine, have now reached the stage of multi-centre trials. There is a need to complement parasitological techniques as some national programmes are becoming increasingly succesful in establishng control of the disease and the classical approach frequently fails to reveal low-intensity infection. Epidemiological survey teams in some areas have tentatively started to use serology and their experience indicates that antibody detection suffies in eradicated or controlled areas with low expected prevalence but that detection of circulating antigens is needed for assessment of the incidence of infection or reinfection in areas recently brought under control. Before reagents and procedures can be recommended for routine use of national control programmes, the assays must be standardized with sera from clinically well-characterized patients in geographically defined regions, hence emphasizing the need for a reference serum bank. Implementation of serological testing, carried out by nationsl public health laboratories using standardized testing systems, would permit valid comparisons between different areas providing support for decisions regarding national health polices.

schistosomiasis; immunodiagnosis


ABSTRACT

Present aspects of immunodiagnosis of schistosomiasis

N. R. Bergquist

Facilitated and improved by advances in molecular biology, techniques for the immunodiagnosis of schistosomiasis, including assays based on the detection of antigens circulating in the serum and/or excreted in the urine, have now reached the stage of multi-centre trials. There is a need to complement parasitological techniques as some national programmes are becoming increasingly succesful in establishng control of the disease and the classical approach frequently fails to reveal low-intensity infection. Epidemiological survey teams in some areas have tentatively started to use serology and their experience indicates that antibody detection suffies in eradicated or controlled areas with low expected prevalence but that detection of circulating antigens is needed for assessment of the incidence of infection or reinfection in areas recently brought under control. Before reagents and procedures can be recommended for routine use of national control programmes, the assays must be standardized with sera from clinically well-characterized patients in geographically defined regions, hence emphasizing the need for a reference serum bank. Implementation of serological testing, carried out by nationsl public health laboratories using standardized testing systems, would permit valid comparisons between different areas providing support for decisions regarding national health polices.

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Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    04 June 2009
  • Date of issue
    1992
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