Evaluation of a commercial coproantigen immunoassay for the detection of Toxocara cati and Ancylostoma tubaeforme in cats and Uncinaria stenocephala in dogs
Coproantigen immunoassays (IDEXX Fecal Dx® antigen tests) were evaluated for their ability to identify Toxocara cati and Ancylostoma tubaeforme infections in cats and Uncinaria stenocephala infection in dogs. Five cats were experimentally infected with 500 embryonated eggs of T. cati, eight cats with 500 third-stage larvae (L3) of A. tubaeforme and seven dogs with 500 L3 of U. stenocephala. In addition to the three coproantigen tests, the course of infection was monitored by a combined sedimentation-flotation method with ZnSO4 as flotation medium (specific gravity: 1.28-1.30) and a modified McMaster method in case of copromicroscopically positive samples. Eggs of T. cati were first observed between 28 and 54 days post infection (dpi) in four of the five infected cats. In these four cats, positive roundworm coproantigen signals were obtained between 16 and 44 dpi. Positive coproantigen signal always preceded egg observations, but the interval varied between 6 and 30 days. Hookworm-specific positive coproantigen signals were detected in seven of the eight A. tubaeforme infected cats between 10 and 52 dpi, while consecutive egg excretion was observed in three cats between day 26 and 54 pi. Of these three, coproantigen signal preceded egg observation by 12 to 24 days. Four cats had positive coproantigen results in the absence of egg excretion, and one cat never achieved a positive result for egg or coproantigen. In six of seven U. stenocephala infected dogs, infection was confirmed by copromicroscopy between 16 and 24 dpi as well as for hookworm coproantigen between 10 and 14 dpi. Coproantigen signal was detected prior to egg observation by 2 to 14 days. No cross-reactions between the roundworm, hookworm und whipworm tests occurred in study animals. The results of this study demonstrate the ability of the coproantigen tests to detect the common roundworm and hookworm infections in cats and U. stenocephala infections in dogs as well as the ability to detect the prepatent stage of infection.