METHODS: SfSAG2 and SfSAG3 genes were isolated from S. falcatula and expressed in Escherichia coli expression system. A total of 348 serum samples [volunteers from both islands (n = 100), non-Sarcocystis parasitic infections patients (n = 50) and healthy donors (n = 100)] were collected and tested with purified SfSAGs in Western blot and ELISA assays to measure the seroprevalence of human sarcocystosis.
RESULTS: None of the sera in this study reacted with rSfSAG2 by Western blot and ELISA. For rSfSAG3, relatively high prevalence of sarcocystosis was observed in Tioman Island (75.5%) than in Pangkor Island (34%) by Western blot. In ELISA, the different prevalence rate was observed between Tioman Island (43.8%) and Pangkor Island (37%). The prevalence rate in other parasitic infections (amoebiasis, cysticercosis, filariasis, malaria, toxocariasis and toxoplasmosis) was 30% by Western blot and 26% by ELISA. Only 8% (by Western blot) and 10% (by ELISA) of healthy donors showed reactivity towards rSfSAG3.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study reporting a seroprevalence of sarcocystosis in Pangkor and Tioman Islands, Malaysia. The combination of Western blot and ELISA is suitable to be used for serodiagnosis of sarcocystosis. With further evaluations, SfSAG3 can potentially be used to confirm infection, asymptomatic screening, surveillance and epidemiological studies.