What is the role of ELISA in the diagnosis of amebiasis?

Updated: Jul 19, 2019
  • Author: Vinod K Dhawan, MD, FACP, FRCPC, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is used to detect antigens from E histolytica in stool samples. Several kits are commercially available. [17]

Antigen-based ELISA kits using monoclonal antibodies against the galactose/N -acetylgalactosamine (GAL/GalNAc)–specific lectin of E histolytica (E histolytica II, TechLab, Blacksburg, VA) yield an overall sensitivity of 71-100% and a specificity of 93-100%. One study showed a much lower sensitivity (14.2%). In patients with amebic liver abscess, serum and liver aspirate antigen detection using the same kit was shown to yield a sensitivity of 96% in serum and 100% in liver aspirate.

Other stool detection kits use monoclonal antibodies against the serine-rich antigen of E histolytica (Optimum S; Merlin Diagnostika, Bornheim-Hersel, Germany) or against other specific antigens (Entamoeba CELISA-PATH, Cellabs, Brookvale, Australia; ProSpecT EIA, Remle Inc, Lenexa, KY).

No specific antigen tests are available for the detection of E dispar and E moshkovskii from clinical samples.

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