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1.  Detection of Two Zoonotic Babesia microti Lineages, the Hobetsu and U.S. Lineages, in Two Sympatric Tick Species, Ixodes ovatus and Ixodes persulcatus, Respectively, in Japan 
The species Babesia microti, commonly found in rodents, demonstrates a high degree of genetic diversity. Three lineages, U.S., Kobe, and Hobetsu, are known to have zoonotic potential, but their tick vector(s) in Japan remains to be elucidated. We conducted a field investigation at Nemuro on Hokkaido Island and at Sumoto on Awaji Island, where up to two of the three lineages occur with similar frequencies in reservoirs. By flagging vegetation at these spots and surrounding areas, 4,010 ticks, comprising six species, were collected. A nested PCR that detects the 18S rRNA gene of Babesia species revealed that Ixodes ovatus and I. persulcatus alone were positive. Lineage-specific PCR for rRNA-positive samples demonstrated that I. ovatus and I. persulcatus carried, respectively, the Hobetsu and U.S. parasites. No Kobe-specific DNA was detected. Infected I. ovatus ticks were found at multiple sites, including Nemuro and Sumoto, with minimum infection rates (MIR) of ∼12.3%. However, all I. persulcatus ticks collected within the same regions, a total of 535, were negative for the Hobetsu lineage, indicating that I. ovatus, but not I. persulcatus, was the vector for the lineage. At Nemuro, U.S. lineage was detected in 2 of 139 adult I. persulcatus ticks (MIR, 1.4%), for the first time, while 48 of I. ovatus ticks were negative for that lineage. Laboratory experiments confirmed the transmission of Hobetsu and U.S. parasites to hamsters via I. ovatus and I. persulcatus, respectively. Differences in vector capacity shown by MIRs at Nemuro, where the two species were equally likely to acquire either lineage of parasite, may explain the difference in distribution of Hobetsu throughout Japan and U.S. taxa in Nemuro. These findings are of importance in the assessment of the regional risk for babesiosis in humans.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00142-12
PMCID: PMC3346458  PMID: 22389378
2.  Taeniasis and cysticercosis due to Taenia solium in Japan 
Parasites & Vectors  2012;5:18.
Taenia solium is a zoonotic cestode that causes taeniasis and cysticercosis in humans. The parasite is traditionally found in developing countries where undercooked pork is consumed under poor sanitary conditions and/or as part of traditional food cultures. However, the recent increase in international tourism and immigration is spreading the disease into non-endemic developed countries such as the United States. Although there has been concern that the number of cysticercosis cases is increasing in Japan, the current situation is not clear. This is largely because taeniasis and cysticercosis are not notifiable conditions in Japan and because there have been no comprehensive reviews of T. solium infections in Japan conducted in the last 15 years. Herein, we provide an overview of the status of T. solium infection in Japan over the past 35 years and point out the potential risks to Japanese society.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-18
PMCID: PMC3398336  PMID: 22248435
Taenia solium; Cysticercosis; Taeniasis; Japan
3.  Multilocus Sequence Typing Implicates Rodents as the Main Reservoir Host of Human-Pathogenic Borrelia garinii in Japan▿† 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(5):2035-2039.
Multilocus sequence typing of Borrelia garinii isolates from humans and comparison with rodent and tick isolates were performed. Fifty-nine isolates were divided into two phylogenetic groups, and an association was detected between clinical and rodent isolates, suggesting that, in Japan, human-pathogenic B. garinii comes from rodents via ticks.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02544-10
PMCID: PMC3122701  PMID: 21411595
4.  The first workshop towards the control of cestode zoonoses in Asia and Africa 
Parasites & Vectors  2011;4:114.
The first workshop towards the control of cestode zoonoses in Asia and Africa was held in Asahikawa Medical University, Japan on 15 and 16 Feb 2011. This meeting was fully supported by the Asian Science and Technology Strategic Cooperation Promotion Programs sponsored by the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education Japan (MEXT) for 3 years from 2010 to Akira Ito. A total of 24 researchers from 9 countries joined together and discussed the present situation and problems towards the control of cestode zoonoses. As the meeting was simultaneously for the establishment of joint international, either bilateral or multilateral collaboration projects, the main purposes were directed to 1) how to detect taeniasis/cysticercosis infected patients, 2) how to differentiate Taenia solium from two other human Taenia species, T. saginata and T. asiatica, 3) how to evaluate T. asiatica based on the evidence of hybrid and hybrid-derived adult tapeworms from Thailand and China, 4) how to evaluate T. solium and T. hyaenae and other Taenia species from the wild animals in Ethiopia, and 5) how to detect echinococcosis patients and 6) how to differentiate Echinococcus species worldwide. Such important topics are summarized in this meeting report.
doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-114
PMCID: PMC3141742  PMID: 21693001
5.  Genetic polymorphisms of Echinococcus tapeworms in China as determined by mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences ✩ 
The genetic polymorphisms of Echinococcus spp. in the eastern Tibetan Plateau and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were evaluated by DNA sequencing analyses of genes for mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and nuclear elongation factor-1 alpha (ef1a). We collected 68 isolates of Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s.) from Xinjiang and 113 isolates of E. granulosus s. s., 49 isolates of Echinococcus multilocularis and 34 isolates of Echinococcus shiquicus from the Tibetan Plateau. The results of molecular identification by mitochondrial and nuclear markers were identical, suggesting the infrequency of introgressive hybridization. A considerable intraspecific variation was detected in mitochondrial cox1 sequences. The parsimonious network of cox1 haplotypes showed star-like features in E. granulosus s. s. and E. multilocularis, but a divergent feature in E. shiquicus. The cox1 neutrality indexes computed by Tajima's D and Fu's Fs tests showed high negative values in E. granulosus s. s. and E. multilocularis, indicating significant deviations from neutrality. In contrast, the low positive values of both tests were obtained in E. shiquicus. These results suggest the following hypotheses: (i) recent founder effects arose in E. granulosus and E. multilocularis after introducing particular individuals into the endemic areas by anthropogenic movement or natural migration of host mammals, and (ii) the ancestor of E. shiquicus was segregated into the Tibetan Plateau by colonizing alpine mammals and its mitochondrial locus has evolved without bottleneck effects.
doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2009.09.006
PMCID: PMC2823955  PMID: 19800346
Echinococcus; Mitochondrial DNA; Genetic diversity; Population genetic structure; China
6.  Widespread co-endemicity of human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, northwest Sichuan/southeast Qinghai, China 
Acta tropica  2009;113(3):248-256.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) or hydatid disease is known to be cosmopolitan in its global distribution, while alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is a much rarer though more pathogenic hepatic parasitic disease restricted to the northern hemisphere. Both forms of human echinococcosis are known to occur on the Tibetan Plateau, but the epidemiological characteristics remain poorly understood. In our current study, abdominal ultrasound screening programs for echinococcosis were conducted in thirty-one Tibetan townships in Ganze and Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures of northwest Sichuan Province during 2001-2008. Hospital records (1992-2006) in a major regional treatment centre for echinococcosis in Sichuan Province were also reviewed. Of 10,186 local residents examined by portable ultrasound scan, 645 (6.3%) were diagnosed with echinococcosis: a prevalence of 3.2% for CE, 3.1% for AE and 0.04% for dual infection (both CE and AE). Human cystic and alveolar echinococcosis in pastoral areas was highly co-endemic, in comparison to much lower prevalences in semi-pastoral or farming regions. The high ultrasound prevalence in these co-endemic areas in northwest Sichuan Province was also reflected in the hospital study, and hospital records furthermore indicated another possible highly co-endemic focus in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, located at the border of northwest Sichuan. These chronic cestode zoonoses constitute an unparalleled major public health problem for pastoral Tibetan communities, and pose great difficulties for adequate treatment access and effective transmission control in such remote regions.
doi:10.1016/j.actatropica.2009.11.006
PMCID: PMC2847145  PMID: 19941830
Cystic echinococcosis; Alveolar echinococcosis; Ultrasound; Prevalence; Tibetan; Sichuan Province; Qinghai Province
7.  Histopathological, Serological, and Molecular Confirmation of Indigenous Alveolar Echinococcosis Cases in Mongolia 
Alveolar echinococcosis cases diagnosed histopathologically in 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2009 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia were reconfirmed by evaluating the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene of mitochondrial DNA. The most recent three cases using paraffin-embedded and ethanol-fixed specimens revealed that one was of the “Asian” haplotype, whereas two others were of the “Inner Mongolian” type. All patients were born in the western provinces of Mongolia, they never resided outside of Mongolia, and they were given a preliminary diagnosis of malignant hepatic tumor or abscess. The most recent two cases were also confirmed serologically to be active alveolar echinococcosis.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0520
PMCID: PMC2813168  PMID: 20134004
8.  Specific IgG Responses to Recombinant Antigen B and Em18 in Cystic and Alveolar Echinococcosis in China ▿  
An understanding of the correlation of the specific antibody responses and the disease phase is essential in evaluating diagnostic values of immunological tests in human echinococcosis. In this study, 422 echinococcosis patients diagnosed by ultrasonography, including 246 with cystic echinococcosis (CE), 173 with alveolar echinococcosis (AE), and 3 with dual infection, were tested for specific IgG in sera against recombinant AgB (rAgB) and recombinant Em18 (rEm18) in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. As a result, rAgB-specific antibody was detected in 77.6% of CE and 86.1% of AE patients, while rEm18-specific antibody was present in 28.9% of CE and 87.3% of AE patients. Additionally, all three patients with dual infection exhibited specific antibodies responding to rAgB and rEm18. Further analysis revealed that rAgB-specific antibody was elevated in a significantly greater proportion (87.3%) of CE patients with cysts at active or transitional stages (CE1, CE2, or CE3), compared to 54.8% of other patients with cysts at an early or an inactive stage (CL or CE4 or CE5). Furthermore, rAgB-specific antibody was detected in 95.6% of CE2 cases, which was statistically greater than that (73.7%) in CE1 patients. Although rEm18-specific antibody was elevated in 28.9% of CE patients, the positive reaction was much weaker in CE than in AE cases. Serum levels and concentrations of rEm18-specific antibody were further indicated to be strongly disease phase correlated in AE patients, with positive rates of 97.4% in cases with alveolar lesions containing central necrosis and 66.7% in patients with early alveolar lesions that measured ≤5 cm.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00466-09
PMCID: PMC2837958  PMID: 20042519
9.  Evaluation of a Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method Using Fecal Specimens for Differential Detection of Taenia Species from Humans▿ ‡  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(9):3350-3352.
We compared the performance of loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) with that of a multiplex PCR method for differential detection of human Taenia parasites in fecal specimens from taeniasis patients. The LAMP method, with no false positives, showed a higher sensitivity (88.4%) than the multiplex PCR (37.2%). Thus, it is expected that the LAMP method has a high value for molecular diagnosis of taeniasis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.00697-10
PMCID: PMC2937673  PMID: 20631114
10.  Serological Studies of Neurologic Helminthic Infections in Rural Areas of Southwest Cameroon: Toxocariasis, Cysticercosis and Paragonimiasis 
Background
Both epilepsy and paragonimiasis had been known to be endemic in Southwest Cameroon. A total of 188 people (168 and 20 with and without symptoms confirmed by clinicians, respectively, 84.6% under 20 years old) were selected on a voluntary basis. Among 14 people (8.3%) with history of epilepsy, only one suffered from paragonimiasis. Therefore, we challenged to check antibody responses to highly specific diagnostic recombinant antigens for two other helminthic diseases, cysticercosis and toxocariasis, expected to be involved in neurological diseases. Soil-transmitted helminthic infections were also examined.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Fecal samples were collected exclusively from the 168 people. Eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms were found from 56 (33.3%), 72 (42.8%), and 19 (11.3%) persons, respectively. Serology revealed that 61 (36.3%), 25 (14.9%) and 2 (1.2%) of 168 persons showed specific antibody responses to toxocariasis, paragonimiasis and cysticercosis, respectively. By contrast, 20 people without any symptoms as well as additional 20 people from Japan showed no antibody responses. Among the 14 persons with epilepsy, 5 persons were seropositive to the antigen specific to Toxocara, and one of them was simultaneously positive to the antigens of Paragonimus. The fact that 2 children with no history of epilepsy were serologically confirmed to have cysticercosis strongly suggests that serological survey for cysticercosis in children is expected to be useful for early detection of asymptomatic cysticercosis in endemic areas.
Conclusions/Significance
Among persons surveyed, toxocariasis was more common than paragonimiasis, but cysticercosis was very rare. However, the fact that 2 children were serologically confirmed to have cysticercosis was very important, since it strongly suggests that serology for cysticercosis is useful and feasible for detection of asymptomatic cysticercotic children in endemic areas for the early treatment.
Author Summary
A total of 188 people (168 and 20 with and without symptoms confirmed by clinicians, respectively, 84.6% under 20 years old) were selected on a voluntary basis in Cameroon. Soil transmitted helminthic infections were prevalent among persons surveyed as is common in developing countries, since eggs of Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and hookworms were found from 56 (33.3%), 72 (42.8%) and 19 (11.3%) persons, respectively. Serological analyses revealed that 61 (36.3%), 25 (14.9%) and 2 (1.2%) persons were positive to the diagnostic antigens specific for toxocariasis, paragonimiasis and cysticercosis, respectively. Among 14 people with epilepsy, 5 persons were seropositive to the antigen of Toxocara and one of them was simultaneously positive to the antigens of Paragonimus. Serological confirmation of cysticercosis in two children is very important, and we suggest that further serologic surveys of cysticercosis be carried out in both children and adults in this area for the promotion of a better quality of life including control and early treatment.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000732
PMCID: PMC2897840  PMID: 20625553
11.  Serological Monitoring of Progression of Alveolar Echinococcosis with Multiorgan Involvement by Use of Recombinant Em18▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2009;47(10):3191-3196.
Two cases of alveolar echinococcosis (AE) with multiple-organ involvement (the liver, lungs, and bone) were monitored by imaging and serology for 20 years. Resection of the bone lesion was complete in one case but incomplete in the other case. Albendazole treatment was markedly to moderately effective against hepatic and pulmonary AE lesions in both cases, whereas it had almost no effect against the bone lesion in one case. The results of the serological tests with recombinant Em18 antigen coincided with the clinical findings in each case. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG) responses, especially IgG4 responses, is expected to be a real-time indicator of the dynamics of active AE.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01111-09
PMCID: PMC2756934  PMID: 19656973
12.  Echinococcus vogeli Infection in a Hunter, French Guiana 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2009;15(12):2029-2031.
Echinococcus vogeli infection in a hunter from the rain forest of French Guiana was confirmed by imaging and mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis. Serologic examination showed typical patterns for both alveolar and cystic echinococcosis. Polycystic echinococcis caused by E. vogeli may be an emerging parasitic disease in Central and South America.
doi:10.3201/eid1512.090940
PMCID: PMC3044547  PMID: 19961693
zoonosis; helminthic infection; parasites; Echinococcus vogeli; French Guiana; dispatch
13.  Natural Infection of the Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus spp.) with Echinococcus granulosus in China 
Background
Echinococcus granulosus is usually transmitted between canid definitive hosts and ungulate intermediate hosts.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Lesions found in the livers of ground squirrels, Spermophilus dauricus/alashanicus, trapped in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, an area in China co-endemic for both E. granulosus and E. multilocularis, were subjected to molecular genotyping for Echinococcus spp. DNA. One of the lesions was shown to be caused by E. granulosus and subsequently by histology to contain viable protoscoleces.
Conclusions/Significance
This is the first report of a natural infection of the ground squirrel with E. granulosus. This does not provide definitive proof of a cycle involving ground squirrels and dogs or foxes, but it is clear that there is active E. granulosus transmission occurring in this area, despite a recent past decline in the dog population in southern Ningxia.
Author Summary
Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis are important zoonotic pathogens that cause serious disease in humans. E. granulosus can be transmitted through sylvatic cycles, involving wild carnivores and ungulates; or via domestic cycles, usually involving dogs and farm livestock. E. multilocularis is primarily maintained in a sylvatic life-cycle between foxes and rodents. As part of extensive investigations that we undertook to update available epidemiological data and to monitor the transmission patterns of both E. granulosus and E. mulilocularis in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR) in northwest China, we captured small mammals on the southern slopes of Yueliang Mountain, Xiji, an area co-endemic for human alveolar echinococcosis and cystic echinococcosis. Of 500 trapped small mammals (mainly ground squirrels; Spermophilus dauricus/alashanicus), macroscopic cyst-like lesions (size range 1–10 mm) were found on the liver surface of approximately 10% animals. One of the lesions was shown by DNA analysis to be caused by E. granulosus and by histology to contain viable protoscoleces. This is the first report of a natural infection of the ground squirrel with E. granulosus. We have no definitive proof of a cycle involving ground squirrels and dogs/foxes but it is evident that there is active E. granulosus transmission occurring in this area.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000518
PMCID: PMC2737643  PMID: 19771151
14.  Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification Method for Differentiation and Rapid Detection of Taenia Species▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2008;47(1):168-174.
Rapid detection and differentiation of Taenia species are required for the control and prevention of taeniasis and cysticercosis in areas where these diseases are endemic. Because of the lower sensitivity and specificity of the conventional diagnosis based on microscopical examination, molecular tools are more reliable for differential diagnosis of these diseases. In this study, we developed and evaluated a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for differential diagnosis of infections with Taenia species with cathepsin L-like cysteine peptidase (clp) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) genes. LAMP with primer sets to the cox1 gene could differentiate between three species, and LAMP with primer sets to the clp gene could differentiate Taenia solium from Taenia saginata/Taenia asiatica. Restriction enzyme digestion of the LAMP products from primer set Tsag-clp allowed the differentiation of Taenia saginata from Taenia asiatica. We demonstrated the high specificity of LAMP by testing known parasite DNA samples extracted from proglottids (n = 100) and cysticerci (n = 68). LAMP could detect one copy of the target gene or five eggs of T. asiatica and T. saginata per gram of feces, showing sensitivity similar to that of PCR methods. Furthermore, LAMP could detect parasite DNA in all taeniid egg-positive fecal samples (n = 6). Due to the rapid, simple, specific, and sensitive detection of Taenia species, the LAMP assays are valuable tools which might be easily applicable for the control and prevention of taeniasis and cysticercosis in countries where these diseases are endemic.
doi:10.1128/JCM.01573-08
PMCID: PMC2620829  PMID: 19005142
15.  Species identification of human echinococcosis using histopathology and genotyping in northwestern China 
Summary
Human cystic echinococcosis, caused by infection with the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus, and alveolar echinococcosis, caused by the larval form of E. multilocularis, are known to be important public health problems in western China. Echinococcus shiquicus is a new species of Echinococcus recently described in wildlife hosts from the eastern Tibetan plateau and its infectivity and/or pathogenicity in humans remain unknown. In the current study, parasite tissues from various organs were collected post-operatively from 68 echinococcosis patients from Sichuan and Qinghai provinces in eastern China. The tissues were examined by histopathology and genotyped using DNA sequencing and PCR-RFLP. Histopathologically, 38 human isolates were confirmed as E. granulosus and 30 as E. multilocularis. Mitochondrial cob gene sequencing and PCR-RFLP with rrnL as the target gene confirmed 33 of 53 of the isolates to have the G1 genotype of sheep/dog strain of E. granulosus as the only source of infection, while the remaining 20 isolates were identified as E. multilocularis. No infections were found to be caused by E. shiquicus. Additionally, 5 of 20 alveolar echinococcosis patients were confirmed to have intracranial metastases from primary hepatic alveolar echinococcosis lesions. All these cases originated from four provinces or autonomous regions but most were distributed in Sichuan and Qinghai provinces, where high prevalence rates of human alveolar echinococcosis and cystic echinococcosis were previously documented.
doi:10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.02.019
PMCID: PMC2517144  PMID: 18396303
Alveolar echinococcosis; Cystic echinococcosis; Echinococcus shiquicus; Histopathology; PCR; Tibet
16.  Sympatric Occurrence of Taenia solium, T. saginata, and T. asiatica, Thailand 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(9):1413-1416.
We confirmed sympatric occurrence of Taenia solium, T. saginata, and T. asiatica in western Thailand. DNA analysis of morphologically identified T. saginata, in a dual infection with T. solium, indicated it was T. asiatica. To our knowledge, this report is the first of T. asiatica and a dual Taenia infection from Thailand.
doi:10.3201/eid1309.061148
PMCID: PMC2857269  PMID: 18252126
Taenia asiatica; Taenia saginata; Taenia solium; sympatric distribution; dual infection; mitochondrial DNA analysis; Kanchanaburi; Thailand; dispatch
17.  Solitary Neurocysticercosis Case Caused by Asian Genotype of Taenia solium Confirmed by Mitochondrial DNA Analysis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(8):3891-3893.
A Japanese woman presenting with neurologic symptoms was presumptively diagnosed with neurocysticercosis based on imaging findings. Hooklets in the scolex of the resected lesion were not confirmed through histopathological observation. However, the illness was confirmed by mitochondrial DNA analysis to be a solitary neurocysticercosis case caused by the Asian genotype of Taenia solium.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.8.3891-3893.2004
PMCID: PMC497656  PMID: 15297559
18.  Molecular Cloning, Expression, and Serological Evaluation of an 8-Kilodalton Subunit of Antigen B from Echinococcus multilocularis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(3):1082-1088.
Full-length cDNA and genomic DNA encoding an 8-kDa subunit of antigen B from Echinococcus multilocularis (designated EmAgB8/1) were isolated from an E. multilocularis metacestode cDNA library and a protoscolex genomic DNA library, respectively. The open reading frame of the cDNA clone encodes a polypeptide comprising 85 amino acids with a 20-amino-acid NH2-terminal signal sequence, which was confirmed following N-terminal sequencing of the native antigen. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed that the clone encoding EmAgB8/1 is predominantly transcribed in larval E. multilocularis. The gene consists of two exons (encoding the signal sequence and mature protein) separated by a 91-bp intron. The mature form was expressed in Escherichia coli, and its antigenic reactivity was compared with that of a counterpart, an 8-kDa subunit of antigen B from Echinococcus granulosus (EgAgB8/1) by Western blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with serum samples from patients confirmed to have cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE). Recombinant EmAgB8/1 showed positive reactions in Western blots with 81.3% (65 of 80) of serum samples from CE patients and 40.6% (26 of 64) of serum samples from AE patients, while recombinant EgAgB8/1 showed positive reactions with 86% (43 of 50) and 42% (19 of 45) of the serum samples from these CE and AE patients, respectively. By the ELISA, both EmAgB8/1 and EgAgB8/1 exhibited similar positive reactions with 88% (44 of 50) of serum samples from CE patients and 37.8% (17 of 45) serum samples from AE patients. Statistical analysis revealed that the sensitivity of EmAgB8/1 was comparable to that of EgAgB8/1 for the serodiagnosis of echinococcal diseases. There was no cross-reaction with sera from patients with cysticercosis, which often cross-react when native antigens are used for serodiagnosis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.3.1082-1088.2004
PMCID: PMC356886  PMID: 15004057
19.  DNA Differential Diagnosis of Taeniasis and Cysticercosis by Multiplex PCR 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2004;42(2):548-553.
Multiplex PCR was established for differential diagnosis of taeniasis and cysticercosis, including their causative agents. For identification of the parasites, multiplex PCR with cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene yielded evident differential products unique for Taenia saginata and Taenia asiatica and for American/African and Asian genotypes of Taenia solium with molecular sizes of 827, 269, 720, and 984 bp, respectively. In the PCR-based detection of tapeworm carriers using fecal samples, the diagnostic markers were detected from 7 of 14 and 4 of 9 T. solium carriers from Guatemala and Indonesia, respectively. Test sensitivity may have been reduced by the length of time (up to 12 years) that samples were stored and/or small sample volumes (ca. 30 to 50 mg). However, the diagnostic markers were detected by nested PCR in five worm carriers from Guatemalan cases that were found to be negative by multiplex PCR. It was noteworthy that a 720 bp-diagnostic marker was detected from a T. solium carrier who was egg-free, implying that it is possible to detect worm carriers and treat before mature gravid proglottids are discharged. In contrast to T. solium carriers, 827-bp markers were detected by multiplex PCR in all T. saginata carriers. The application of the multiplex PCR would be useful not only for surveillance of taeniasis and cysticercosis control but also for the molecular epidemiological survey of these cestode infections.
doi:10.1128/JCM.42.2.548-553.2004
PMCID: PMC344500  PMID: 14766815
20.  Evaluation of Use of Recombinant Em18 and Affinity-Purified Em18 for Serological Differentiation of Alveolar Echinococcosis from Cystic Echinococcosis and Other Parasitic Infections 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2003;41(7):3351-3353.
To further evaluate recombinant Em18 antigen (rEm18) for immunodiagnosis of human alveolar echinococcosis, 208 serum samples were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). To comparatively assess the results of rEm18-ELISA, ELISA and immunoblot analysis with two affinity-purified native antigens were also performed with 45 selected serum samples. The results indicate that rEm18 is highly useful for serodiagnosis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.41.7.3351-3353.2003
PMCID: PMC165307  PMID: 12843091
21.  Evaluation of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) with Affinity-Purified Em18 and an ELISA with Recombinant Em18 for Differential Diagnosis of Alveolar Echinococcosis: Results of a Blind Test 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(11):4161-4165.
Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is the most potentially lethal parasitic zoonosis of the nontropical areas in the northern hemisphere, where cystic echinococcosis (CE) is also endemic. Both AE and CE are highly endemic in China, and both serologic detection of echinococcosis, either AE or CE, and differentiation of AE from CE are crucial problems. Evaluation of Western blot analysis (WB) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the Em18 antigen, using affinity-purified and recombinant Em18, was carried out “blindly” using 60 human sera from patients diagnosed in France. The results were compared with those obtained using a commercially available Echinococcus WB immunoglobulin G (IgG) kit developed in France. The Em18 WB and Echinococcus WB IgG showed very similar results for detection of AE. Both affinity-purified Em18 or a recombinant Em18 WB and Echinococcus WB IgG seem useful for identification of AE, and the latter seems appropriate for both AE and CE, whereas affinity-purified Em18 ELISA and the newly developed recombinant Em18 ELISA appear to be suitable for detection of AE, especially for epidemiological surveys.
doi:10.1128/JCM.40.11.4161-4165.2002
PMCID: PMC139688  PMID: 12409391
22.  DNA Differential Diagnosis of Human Taeniid Cestodes by Base Excision Sequence Scanning Thymine-Base Reader Analysis with Mitochondrial Genes 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(10):3818-3821.
For DNA differential diagnosis of human Taenia cestodes, a base excision sequence scanning thymine-base method using the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and cytochrome b genes as targets was used. The characteristic thymine-base peak profiles provide four distinct types, unique for T. saginata, T. asiatica, and two genotypes of T. solium. This approach provides a useful tool for the identification and diagnosis of human taeniid cestodes without DNA sequencing if nucleotide sequence databases are available.
doi:10.1128/JCM.40.10.3818-3821.2002
PMCID: PMC130864  PMID: 12354889
23.  Alveolar Echinococcosis: Characterization of Diagnostic Antigen Em18 and Serological Evaluation of Recombinant Em18 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2002;40(8):2760-2765.
The Echinococcus multilocularis protein Em18 is one of the most promising antigens for use in serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis in human patients. Here we identify an antigenic relationship between Em18 and a 65-kDa immunodominant E. multilocularis surface protein previously identified as either EM10 or EmII/3. The NH2-terminal sequence of native Em18 was determined, revealing it to be a fragment of EM10. Experiments were undertaken to investigate the effect of proteinase inhibitors on the degradation of EM10 in crude extracts of E. multilocularis protoscoleces. Em18 was found to be the product of degradation of EM10 by cysteine proteinase. A recombinant Em18 (RecEm18, derived from 349K to 508K of EM10) was successfully expressed by using Escherichia coli expression system and then evaluated for use in serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis. RecEm18 was recognized by 27 (87.1%) and 28 (90.3%) of 31 serum samples from clinically and/or pathologically confirmed alveolar echinococcosis patients by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and immunoblotting, respectively. Of 33 serum samples from cystic echinococcosis patients, 1 was recorded as having a weak positive reaction to RecEm18; however, none of the serum samples which were tested from neurocysticercosis patients (n = 10) or healthy people (n = 15) showed positive reactions. RecEm18 has the potential for use in the differential serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.40.8.2760-2765.2002
PMCID: PMC120647  PMID: 12149326
24.  Usefulness of Hydatid Cyst Fluid of Echinococcus granulosus Developed in Mice with Secondary Infection for Serodiagnosis of Cystic Echinococcosis in Humans 
The aim of this work was to assess the usefulness of hydatid cyst fluid (HCF) of Echinococcus granulosus, obtained from mice experimentally infected with hydatid cyst tissue homogenates, for the serodiagnosis of cystic echinococcosis (CE) in humans. The sensitivity and specificity of HCF obtained from mice for the detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in the sera of CE patients were compared with those of HCF from sheep and/or from a human CE patient by using immunoblotting (IB) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). HCFs obtained from three different host species all were highly useful for immunoblotting, and sera from 19 (95%) of 20 CE patients equally recognized the antigen B subunit (approximately 8 kDa). HCF from mice showed a cross-reaction with 9 of 20 alveolar echinococcosis (AE) sera (45%), whereas HCFs from two other host species cross-reacted with 14 of the AE sera (70%). Although 2 (10%) of 20 sera from neurocysticercosis (NCC) patients were false positive with HCF from both sheep and humans, none of these sera showed a positive reaction with HCF from mouse origin. ELISAs with HCFs from both mouse and sheep origins detected all 20 CE and AE sera; however, these ELISAs showed 45% (9 of 20) and 60% (12 of 20) false-positive reactions with 20 NCC sera, respectively. The presence of nonspecific human IgG in HCF obtained from a CE patient prevented us from applying it to the ELISA. HCF of E. granulosus, obtained from laboratory mice with a secondary infection with hydatid cyst tissue homogenates, appears to be highly useful for the serodiagnosis of CE in humans and may be useful in domestic animals.
doi:10.1128/CDLI.9.3.573-576.2002
PMCID: PMC119995  PMID: 11986262
25.  Molecular Characterization and Diagnostic Value of Taenia solium Low-Molecular-Weight Antigen Genes 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2000;38(12):4439-4444.
Neurocysticercosis (NCC) caused by infection with the larvae of Taenia solium is an important cause of neurological disease worldwide. In order to establish an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for this infection using recombinant proteins, we carried out molecular cloning and identified four candidates as diagnostic antigens (designated Ag1, Ag1V1, Ag2, and Ag2V1). Except for Ag2V1, these clones could encode a 7-kDa polypeptide, and Ag2V1 could encode a 10-kDa polypeptide. All of the clones were very similar. Except for Ag2V1, recombinant proteins were successfully expressed using an Escherichia coli expression system. Immunoblot analysis of NCC patient sera detected recombinant proteins, but because reactivity to recombinant Ag1 was too weak, Ag1 was not suitable as an immunodiagnostic antigen. So, Ag1V1 and Ag2 were chosen as ELISA antigens, and the Ag1V1/Ag2 chimeric protein was expressed. Of 49 serum samples from NCC patients confirmed to be seropositive by immunoblot analysis, 44 (89.7%) were positive by ELISA. No assays of serum samples from patients with other parasitic infections recognized the Ag1V1/Ag2 chimeric protein. The Ag1V1/Ag2 chimeric protein obtained in this study had a high value for differential immunodiagnosis.
PMCID: PMC87618  PMID: 11101577

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