Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

A new ELISA and western blot technique based on recombinant TES antigen and/or larval antigen for the detection of toxocariasis in humans

Serological antibody detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)- and immunoblot-based methods constitutes the best indicator of human Toxocara infection. Nevertheless, the availability of serological tests, particularly western blots (WB), evaluated for sensitivity and specificity is limited. Therefore, an Anti-Toxocara-ELISA immunoglobulin g (IgG) prototype (Proto-ELISA) and an Anti-Toxocara-Westernblot (IgG) prototype (Proto-WB) were evaluated by testing 541 human sera pre-determined for Toxocara infection by an established in-house Anti-Toxocara-ELISA (IH-ELISA). To evaluate sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed ELISA and WB prototypes, results were compared to IH-ELISA and a commercial WB (Com-WB). Compared to the IH-ELISA, a sensitivity of 93.1% (229/246) and a specificity of 94.6% (279/295) of the Proto-ELISA with a Cohen's κ of 0.88 were obtained. The sensitivity of the Proto-WB was 76.7% (240/313) and specificity was 99.6% (227/228) with a Cohen's κ of 0.73 compared to those of Com-WB. A comparison to the IH-ELISA revealed 91.5% (225/246) sensitivity and 94.6% (279/295) specificity of the Proto-WB with a Cohen's κ of 0.86. Cross-reactivity was observed for some samples positive for Ascaris and Trichinella spp. in the Proto-ELISA, Proto-WB and Com-WB. Overall, the evaluated ELISA and WB prototypes showed high sensitivity and specificity, indicating high reliability of these newly developed tests.

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