Serodiagnosis of amoebiasis remains the preferred method for diagnosis of amoebic liver abscess (ALA). However, the commercially available kits are problematic in areas of endemicity due to the persistently high background antibody titers. Human serum samples (n = 38) from patients with ALA who live in areas of endemicity were collected from Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia during the period of 2008 to 2010. Western blots using excretory-secretory antigen (ESA) collected from axenically grown Entamoeba histolytica were probed with the above serum samples. Seven antigenic proteins of ESA with various reactivities were identified, i.e., 152 kDa, 131 kDa, 123 kDa, 110 kDa, 100 kDa, 82 kDa, and 76 kDa. However, only the 152-kDa and 110-kDa proteins showed sensitivities above 80% in the Western blot analysis. All the antigenic proteins showed undetectable cross-reactivity when probed with healthy human serum samples (n = 30) and serum samples from other infections (n = 33). From the matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-two-stage time of flight (MALDI-TOF/TOF) analysis, the proteins were identified as heavy subunits of E. histolytica lectin and E. histolytica pyruvate phosphate dikinase, respectively. Use of the E. histolytica lectin for diagnosis of ALA has been well reported by researchers and is being used in commercialized kits. However, this is the first report on the potential use of pyruvate phosphate dikinase for diagnosis of ALA; thus, this molecule merits further evaluation on its diagnostic value using a larger panel of serum samples.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.