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Species-specificity preliminary evaluation of an IL-4 based test for the differential diagnosis of human echinococcosis

Linda Petrone, Werner C Albrich, Francesca Tamarozzi, Manuel Frischknecht, Maria Angeles Gomez-Morales, Antonella Teggi, Matthias Hoffmann & Delia Goletti

abstract

AIMS
The diagnosis of cystic echinococcosis (CE) is based on imaging, while serology is a complementary test of particular use when imaging is inconclusive. Serology has several limitations. Among them, false-positive results are often obtained in subjects with alveolar echinococcosis (AE), rendering difficult the differential diagnosis. We set-up an immune-assay based on IL-4-specific production after stimulating whole-blood with an antigen B (AgB) enriched fraction from E. granulosus, that associates with CE and CE cysts in active stage. We aimed to evaluate potential cross-reactivity of this test using samples from patients with AE.

METHODS AND RESULTS
Twelve patients with AE were recruited; IL-4 levels ranged from 0 pg/mL to 0.07 pg/mL. Based on the previously identified cut-off of 0.39 pg/mL using samples from patients with CE, none of samples from AE patients scored positive. In contrast, almost 80% of samples from AE patients scored positive in serology tests based on different E. granulosus-derived antigenic preparations.

CONCLUSION
Our preliminary data show that this experimental whole-blood assay has no cross-reactivity in our cohort of patients with AE, in turn indicating a high specificity of the assay for CE diagnosis. This result supports further work toward the development of improved diagnostic tests for CE.
   
citation Petrone L, Albrich W C, Tamarozzi F, Frischknecht M, Gomez-Morales M A, Teggi A, Hoffmann M, Goletti D. Species-specificity preliminary evaluation of an IL-4 based test for the differential diagnosis of human echinococcosis. Parasite Immunol 2019;e12695.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 29-12-2019
journal title Parasite Immunol
ISSN electronic 1365-3024
pages e12695
PubMed 31884696
DOI 10.1111/pim.12695