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  • Assessment of Echinococcus granulosus somatic protoscolex antigens for serological follow-up of young patients surgically treated for cystic echinococcosis.

Assessment of Echinococcus granulosus somatic protoscolex antigens for serological follow-up of young patients surgically treated for cystic echinococcosis.

Journal of clinical microbiology (2008-03-28)
Nadia Ben Nouir, Sandra Nuñez, Christian Gianinazzi, Mohamed Gorcii, Norbert Müller, Abdellatif Nouri, Hamouda Babba, Bruno Gottstein
ABSTRACT

Echinococcus granulosus protoscolex soluble somatic antigens (PSSAs) were assessed for their prognostic value in the serological follow-up of young patients treated for cystic echinococcosis (CE), compared to conventional hydatid fluid (HF) antigen. Based on different clinical courses and outcome of infection, as well as imaging findings, patients were retrospectively classified into two different groups including either cured CE (CCE; i.e., absence of active cysts or presence of inactive cysts, respectively) and noncured CE (NCCE) patients still presenting active cysts at the end of an up to 5-year follow-up period. An immunoglobulin G (IgG)-PSSA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed a gradual decrease in antibody levels in CCE cases, reaching seronegativity in 20% of the cases at least within 5 years postsurgery. In comparison, the conventional IgG-HF ELISA showed a significantly lower progressive decrease in antibody levels, serology becoming negative in only 15% of CCE patients at the endpoint of the follow-up period. Serological analysis of PSSA by immunoblotting yielded an interesting immunoreactive double band of 27 and 28 kDa that, in 15 (75%) of 20 CCE cases, exhibited a rapid decrease and subsequent disappearance of respective antibody reactivities within 3 years postsurgery. Conversely, anti-27- and -28-kDa antibody reactivity strongly persisted until the endpoint of the follow-up period in all of the five NCCE patients. Further analysis of the 27- and 28-kDa doublet by using affinity-purified antibodies showed that the double band was not detectable in HF. Furthermore, a predominantly IgG4 subclass-restricted humoral immune response against the 27- and 28-kDa antigens was demonstrated in seroreactive CE patients. Overall, an anti-27- and -28-kDa response appeared to correlate with cyst activity. In conclusion, PSSA represents a useful candidate to carry out a serologic follow-up of CE subsequent to treatment and deserves further respective evaluation for other age groups of CE patients.