Preliminary evaluation of recombinant Onchocerca volvulus antigens for serodiagnosis of onchocerciasis

A. F. Ogunrinade, R. Chandrashekar, M. L. Eberhard, G. J. Weil

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13 Scopus citations


Serodiagnostic assays for onchocerciasis based on native antigens are hampered by the scarcity of antigen, and they suffer from poor specificity. The present study was designed to evaluate the diagnostic utility of recently described recombinant Onchocerca volvulus antigens OC 3.6 and OC 9.3 in enzyme immunoassays. The recombinant proteins were expressed as glutathione S-transferase fusions and were tested in several enzyme immunoassay formats to measure immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG4 antibodies with sera from patients with onchocerciasis in Nigeria and with various types of control sera. The best results were obtained by measuring IgG4 antibodies to the fusion proteins. Forty of 42 (95%) serum specimens from patients with onchocerciasis were reactive with OC 3.6; the reactivity with OC 9.3 was 81%. Results obtained with sera from experimentally infected chimpanzees suggest that OC 3.6 might be especially useful for detecting prepatent infections in humans, while OC 9.3 mainly detects mature, patent infections. Sera from individuals in Nigeria and the United States residing in areas nonendemic for onchocerciasis were uniformly nonreactive with these antigens in IgG and IgG4 assays, as were sera from patients with bancroftian filariasis, brugian filariasis, loiasis, ascariasis, schistosomiasis, and dracunculiasis. These results suggest that enzyme immunoassays based on the recombinant antigens OC 3.6 and OC 9.3 are useful for the diagnosis of onchocerciasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1741-1745
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1993


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