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Serological diagnosis of clonorchiasis: using a recombinant propeptide of cathepsin L proteinase from Clonorchis sinensis as a candidate antigen

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Clonorchiasis is a common zoonosis in southern and northeastern parts of China, especially in Guangdong, Guangxi and Jilin province. Anti-Clonorchis sinensis antibody detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been used for epidemiological surveys of clonorchiasis for its convenience and celerity, but it is still a meaningful work to screen ideal diagnostic antigen or antibody subtype for improvement of diagnostic sensitivity and specificity and for judgement of curative effect. In the present study, recombinant CsCatL-propeptide (rCsCatL-propeptide) was highly expressed in form of inclusion body in Escherichia coli. Soluble rCsCatL-propeptide with high purity were obtained after purification in denatured condition by using His Bind Purification kit, and then renatured. The major antibody subtypes responding to rCsCatL-propeptide in sera from clonorchiasis patients were IgG1 and IgG4, but the level of IgG4 was more predominant (P < 0.05). The sensitivity of specific IgG4 detection (91.7%) was statistically significantly higher than that of IgG1 (25.0%) with rCsCatL-propeptide (P < 0.01). The specificities of IgG1 and IgG4 detection with rCsCatL-propeptide were 83.3% and 88.5%, respectively, and the difference between them was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Cross-reactions took place when we detected IgG1 of sera from patients infected with Schistosoma japonicum, Paragonimus westermani, hookworm, Trichuris trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides with rCsCatL-propeptide, while cross-reactions only took place in sera from patients infected with S. japonicum and P. westermani when we detected specific IgG4. The positive rate of IgG4 detection in sera from clonorchiasis patients with <1,000, 1,000–4,999, 5,000–9,999, and ≥10,000 eggs per gram faeces (EPG) were 76.9%, 89.3%, 95.6%, and 100.0%, respectively. The positive rates of serodiagnosis correlated well with the EPG (r = 0.93). Overall, rCsCatL-propeptide is a valuable candidate for specific IgG4 detection in sera from clonorchiasis patients by the method of ELISA for its few cross-reaction and acceptable sensitivity. In addition, specific IgG4 detection can be used to valuate infected degree and therapeutic effect of clonorchiasis patients.

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The experimental work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program, 2010CB530000), the National S & T Major Program (Grant No. 2008ZX10004-011) and the China National Natural Science Foundation (No. 30771887).

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Correspondence to Xinbing Yu.

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Li, Y., Hu, X., Liu, X. et al. Serological diagnosis of clonorchiasis: using a recombinant propeptide of cathepsin L proteinase from Clonorchis sinensis as a candidate antigen. Parasitol Res 110, 2197–2203 (2012).

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  • Specific IgG4
  • Schistosoma Japonicum
  • Ascaris Lumbricoides
  • Fascioliasis
  • Clonorchiasis