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Detection of antigen B of Cysticercus cellulosae in cerebrospinal fluid for the diagnosis of human neurocysticercosis

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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developed and developing countries. The diagnosis of this disease remains a problem. We report the detection of specific antigenic fraction (antigen B) ofCysticercus cellulosae by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in various fractions of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) obtained by high performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separation, for the diagnosis of human NCC. Forty patients attending or admitted to Nehru Hospital, Chandigarh were included in the study: 10 with suspected NCC, 20 with other neurological diseases and 10 undergoing surgery under spinal anaesthesia for non-neurological conditions, who served as controls. CSF samples collected from all patients and controls were subjected to chromatographic separation on an HPLC system. Antigen B (AgB) was detected in separated fractions by an ELISA test and compared with the detection of antibody response in CSF samples by indirect haemagglutination (IHA) technique. Antigen B was detected in 9 out of 10 patients with suspected NCC based on clinical symptoms and radioimaging reports, but in none of the control subjects. However, antigen B was also detected in 9 out of 20 patients with other neurological disorders, mostly tubercular meningitis. Antibody response by IHA was found positive in only 2 of 10 cases clinically suspected of NCC. In conclusion, antigen B detection in CSF samples may be a useful adjunct to clinical suspicion and radiological reports for the diagnosis of NCC as there is no gold standard criteria to confirm this disease. However, the test needs to be evaluated on more patients in countries where tuberculosis and cysticercosis are endemic due to the high cross reactivity with samples from tubercular meningitis patients.
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Keywords: antigen; diagnosis; neurocysticercosis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Parasitology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India 2: Department of Experimental Medicine and Biotechnology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,  Chandigarh, India 3: Department of Neurology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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