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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 64-72

Cysticercus cellulosae antigens in the serodiagnosis of neurocysticercosis

Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhash Chandra Parija
Department of Microbiology, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry- 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5070.86932

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Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is difficult to diagnose clinically because of its varied clinical presentation. However, an accurate diagnosis is possible only after suspicion on epidemiological grounds, proper interpretation of the clinical data, analysis of the findings on imaging studies, and specific immunological tests on the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The diagnosis of NCC by any single parameter thus continues to remain difficult. In the past, detection of NCC was based on autopsy studies and histological confirmation. In recent times, the advent of imaging methods such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have provided excellent non-invasive tools for easy detection of NCC. Nevertheless, an imaging technique of the brain, although useful, is not considered as a gold standard for the diagnosis of NCC. Serological tests are being increasingly used in adjunct with imaging techniques, to aid the diagnosis of NCC. Immunodiagnostic techniques include detection methods for specific antibodies and for circulating parasite antigens in the serum and CSF. Currently, many of the immunodiagnostic tests, including the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and enzyme immunotransfer blot, use purified native antigens for the immunodiagnosis of NCC. Nevertheless, the main problem with the use of native cysticercal antigens is that the native proteins often show cross reactions with sera from humans infected with other parasites. The preparation of native antigens also demand a constant supply of parasitic material from the intermediate host pig. In order to overcome the problems in using native antigens, the recombinant antigens or synthetic peptides, which can be produced under stable conditions, are being evaluated for the serodiagnosis of NCC.

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