Experimental ELISA for diagnosis of ovine dicrocoeliosis and application in a field survey.Parasitol Res. 2009 Mar; 104(4):949-53.PR
Dicrocoeliosis is a parasitic disease caused by trematodes belonging to the genus Dicrocoelium. It usually produces mild symptoms, and for this reason, dicrocoeliosis often remains undetected. Its diagnosis is mostly based on postmortem examination of the liver or on coprological assays for in vivo diagnosis. However, the latter method has scant sensitivity and because of the long pre-patency of Dicrocoelium spp. only permits late diagnosis. In the present study, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed based on excretory/secretory antigen of Dicrocoelium dendriticum. The ELISA detected antibodies (IgG) in experimental infected sheep starting from day 30 post-infection (d.p.i.), whereas coprological samples were positive from 58 d.p.i. The ELISA was used in a field study in order to assess dicrocoeliosis seroprevalence in ovine flocks from the province of Trento (northeastern Italy), and this was the first sero-epidemiological study of ovine dicrocoeliosis in northern Italy. Altogether, 842 sheep sera were tested. In accordance with previous surveys carried out in other regions of Italy, a high prevalence of 80% to 100% was found.