Micro-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Micro-ELISA) systems were developed and evaluated for the detection of circulating (free or immune-complexed) hydatid antigens in the sera of patients with hydatidosis, by employing monospecific antibodies to hydatid-specific antigens of 8-kDa and 116-kDa. Fifteen (75%) of 20 sera from patients with hydatidosis had both 8-kDa and 116-kDa antigens freely circulating in their sera while three and two samples, respectively, had only 8-kDa or 116-kDa antigen. All the surgically confirmed cases of hydatidosis had detectable levels of both 8-kDa and 116-kDa circulating immune complexes in glycine HCl-treated sera. However, none of the sera from control subjects (patients with cysticercosis, ascariasis, ancylostomiasis, hymenolepiasis, amoebic liver abscess or viral hepatitis) had any detectable level of either type of circulating specific antigen. These results suggest that the demonstration of either 8- or 116-kDa antigen(s) in free or immune-complex form could confirm the diagnosis of hydatidosis.


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