Cystic echinococcosis (CE) is a neglected zoonotic disease with a worldwide distribution and is a major public health problem in some areas. Diagnosis of CE is mainly based on clinical symptoms, imaging and serological testing, however, improvement in serodiagnosis is still needed. This study was aimed at detecting circulating Echinococcus antigen in CE patients using a lateral flow dipstick (LFD) assay. Three types of hydatid antigens i.e. hydatid cyst fluid (HCF), native antigen B (nAgB) and recombinant antigen B (rAgB) were prepared and polyclonal rabbit antiserum was raised against each antigen. Purified IgG fractions were prepared and a portion was conjugated to gold nanoparticles. After a series of optimizations, a final antigen detection LFD assay was developed using a combination of anti-nAgB-IgG and gold-conjugated anti-HCF-IgG. Evaluation of the assay showed that 27 out of 35 (77%) serum samples from CE patients gave positive results. Meanwhile, the test showed a diagnostic specificity of 82% when tested with sera from 38 healthy individuals and 13 patients with other parasitic diseases. In conclusion, the antigen detection LFD assay seemed to be useful for diagnosis of CE and possibly for post-treatment follow-up, and merit further evaluation studies. We foresee that it may improve serodiagnosis of CE when used in tandem with an antibody detection test.
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