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Successful capture of Toxocara canis larva antigens from human serum samples

Rodríguez-Caballero, Aarón, Martínez-Gordillo, Mario Noé, Medina-Flores, Yolanda, Medina-Escutia, María Edith, Meza-Lucas, Antonio, Correa, Dolores, Caballero-Salazar, Silvia, Ponce-Macotela, Martha
Parasites & vectors 2015 v.8 no.1 pp. 264
Toxocara canis, blood serum, circulating antigens, cross reaction, detection limit, dogs, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, humans, larva migrans, larvae, liver, lungs, mice, monoclonal antibodies, nervous system, parasites, parasitism, paratenic hosts, polyclonal antibodies, rabbits, toxocariasis
BACKGROUND: Toxocara canis is a nematode that parasitizes dogs, while humans are paratenic hosts. When humans are infected the migrating larvae damage the liver, lungs and even the nervous system. Larva migrans diagnosis is based on immunological techniques; however, the commercial immunodiagnostic kits detect anti-T. canis antibodies which may cross-react with other parasites, mainly nematodes with extra-intestinal migration. Moreover, antibodies do not necessarily reflect an active infection; so detection and quantification of circulating antigens may provide appropriate and timely information for treatment, which prevents irreversible damage. Here we report the standardization of a monoclonal antibody based antigen capture ELISA to diagnose human toxocariasis without cross-reaction. METHODS: We developed anti-T. canis polyclonal antibodies in rabbits and a monoclonal antibody in mouse which did not cross-react with 15 antigens from several parasites. The sandwich ELISA standardization was performed using sera from mice experimentally infected. We tested the method using 29 positive and 58 negative human sera previously typified with a commercial kit, which detects antibodies. RESULTS: Only 5.0 μg/mL and 10 μg/mL polyclonal antibodies and monoclonal antibody, respectively, were needed in the sandwich ELISA standardization, detecting since 440 pg/mL larva antigens. Nine out of 29 antibody-positive sera were also positive for antigens and no false positive were found. Taking the antibody kit as the reference standard, the sensibility and specificity of the antigen test were 31% and 100%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: With these tools we established a detection threshold as low as 440 pg/mL antigen. Monoclonal antibody is specific, and did not cross-react with antigens from other parasites. Detection of circulating antigens helps provide appropriate and timely treatment and prevents irreversible damage.