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The antibody response to Dracunculus medinensis in an endemic human population of northern Ghana



The antibody response to Dracunculus medinensis in an endemic human population of northern Ghana



Journal of Helminthology 67(1): 37-48



The serum antibody response (total, and isotypes IgG, IgG-4, IgM, IgA and IgE) to Guinea worm infection was examined in humans from a highly endemic area of northern Ghana by ELISA and SDS-PAGE/Western blot techniques using an adult Dracunculus medinensis antigen. Sera were obtained early and late in the peak transmission period, from persons with patent and postpatent infections, as well as from persons from the same endemic area who claimed never to have had Guinea worm infection. To observe for potential cross-reactions in the tests, sera were also obtained from areas with no transmission of Guinea worm from patients with hookworm. Onchocerca volvulus and Wuchereria bancrofti infections, and from non-infected controls. Sera from persons living in the Guinea worm endemic area reacted extensively with Guinea worm antigen in both tests, and large numbers of bands were produced in the Western blots (up to 35 identified for some sera). For most antibody isotypes, the ELISA absorbance values obtained with sera from the same individuals varied between the two transmission seasons, with the highest titers present towards the end of the peak transmission period. The mean antibody titers for persons in the patent and postpatent infection categories were not significantly different when sera were obtained at the same season of the year. Persons from the endemic area, who claimed never to experience patent infections, also had antibodies to Guinea worm, although at significantly lower mean levels than for the patent and postpatent categories. The highest specificity in the ELISA and the most homogenous Western blots were obtained when detecting for antibodies of the IgG-4 isotype.

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Accession: 002513170

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8509617

DOI: 10.1017/s0022149x00012839


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