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Development and evaluation of a Western blot kit for diagnosis of schistosomiasis.

We evaluated the performance of Western blot (WB) analysis using commercially available antigen strips and compared the results with those of indirect hemagglutination (IHA) and indirect immunofluorescence (IFAT) for the serodiagnosis of human schistosomiasis. The antigen preparation was a crude extract of Schistosoma mansoni. The WB profile characteristics of schistosomiasis were characterized by comparing the results for 58 serum samples from patients with parasitologically proven S. mansoni (n = 12) and S. haematobium (n = 46) infections and 37 individuals with probable cases of schistosomiasis but with only positive serology results. The specificity of WB analysis was assessed by testing 12 serum samples from healthy subjects, 67 serum samples from patients with other proven helminthic and protozoan infections, and 16 serum samples from patients with autoantibodies. Six immunodominant bands (65, 70, 80, 95, 110, and 120 kDa) were revealed with sera from patients with schistosomiasis. The presence of three or more bands in the range 65 to 120 kDa, with the exception of the 100-kDa band, was considered diagnostic for Schistosoma infection and had a specificity of 100% in our series. In patients with proven schistosomiasis, the sensitivity of WB analysis was 84.5%, whereas those of IFAT and IHA were 65.5 and 72.9%, respectively. For serologically proven cases, the sensitivity of WB analysis was 97.3%. The overall sensitivity and specificity for both groups of patients were 89.5 and 100%, respectively, with positive and negative predictive values of 100 and 91.3%, respectively. We conclude that WB analysis is a useful technique for the immunological diagnosis of schistosomiasis.

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