Immunodiagnosis of Human Fascioliasis: An Update of Concepts and Performances of the Serological Assays OE05-OE10
Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz-71345-1735, Iran.
Human Fascioliasis (HF) is a foodborne neglected parasitic disease caused by Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. New epidemiological data suggest that the endemic areas of the disease are expanding and HF is being reported from areas where it was previously not observed. Diagnosis of HF is challenging. Performances of parasitological approaches, based on the detection of parasite’s egg in the stool, are not satisfactory. Currently serological methods for the diagnosis of HF are mainly based on detection of anti-Fasciola antibodies in serum. Although, there have been some improvement in the development of immunological diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of HF, yet these tests suffer from insufficiency in sensitivity or/and specificity. Detection of antigens, rather than antibodies, seems to be a suitable approach in the diagnosis of HF. Antigen can be detected in sera or stool of the fascioliasis patients. Circulating antigen in serum disappears within a short time and most of the circulating antigens are in immune complex forms which are not freely available to be detected. Therefore, antigenemia might not be an appropriate method for the diagnosis of HF. Detection of antigen in stool (coproantigens) seems to be a suitable alternative method for the diagnosis of HF. Recent data provided convincing evidence that detection of coproantigen improved and simplified the diagnosis of HF. The present review highlights the new achievements in designing and improvement of diagnostic approaches for the immunodiagnosis of HF. Moreover, current status of the available immunodiagnostic techniques for the diagnosis of HF, their strengths and weaknesses has been discussed.