Human schistosomiasis, caused by Schistosoma mansoni, is highly prevalent in Brazil and usually diagnosed by time consuming stool analysis. Serological tests are of limited use in this disease, mainly for epidemiological studies, showing no discrimination between previous contact with the parasite and active infections. In the present study, we standardized and compared a Dot-ELISA for IgM and IgG antibodies against S. mansoni antigens from eggs and worms with a routine IgG and IgM immunofluorescence assay using similar antigens, in the study of sera from 27 patients who had quantified egg stool excretion. The positivity obtained for IgG Dot-ELISA was 96.3% and 88.9% for IgM Dot-ELISA with worm antigen and 92.6% and 90.9% with egg antigen. The IFI presented similar positivities using worm antigen, 92.6% (IgG) and 96.3% (IgM),and lower results with egg antigen, 77.8% (IgG and IgM). The patients studied were divided into two groups according to their egg excretion, with greater positivity of serological tests in higher egg excreters. When comparing the quantitative egg excretion and the serological titers of the patients, we detected a correlation only with IgM Dot-ELISA, with r=0.552 (p=0.0127). These data show that Dot-ELISA can be used for the detection of specific antibodies against S. mansoni in sera from suspected patients or in epidemiological studies and, with further purification of egg antigen and larger samples, IgM Dot-ELISA could be a possible tool for rough estimates of parasite burden in epidemiological studies.
Schistosomiasis; DOT-ELISA; Egg excretion; Diagnosis