American Journal of Microbiological Research
ISSN (Print): 2328-4129 ISSN (Online): 2328-4137 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Microbiological Research. 2015, 3(1), 33-40
DOI: 10.12691/ajmr-3-1-5
Open AccessArticle

Antibodies to Echinococcus granulosus Egg Antigens in Hydatid Patients: Characterization by Immunoblot and Diagnostic Value


1Laboratory of Immunology, Institut Pasteur de Tunis, Tunis, TUNISIA

Pub. Date: January 28, 2015

Cite this paper:
Wissal IRAQI HOUSSAINI. Antibodies to Echinococcus granulosus Egg Antigens in Hydatid Patients: Characterization by Immunoblot and Diagnostic Value. American Journal of Microbiological Research. 2015; 3(1):33-40. doi: 10.12691/ajmr-3-1-5


Cystic echinococcosis/hydatidosis, caused by Echinococcus granulosus, is a chronic zoonotic larval cestode infection in humans. Human hydatidosis is a public health parasitic disease that is cosmopolitan in its distribution. Several years may last between contamination with E. granulosus eggs and development of symptomatic cysts. Antigens expressed by embryos at early differentiation steps between the embryo and the young cyst may be interesting as markers of early infection or reinfection. This study investigates antibody response (IgG) to E. granulosus egg antigens by Immunoblot (IB) and ELISA in 20 hydatid patients surgically confirmed. We have also tested sera using protoscoleces and hydatid cyst fluid (HCF) from E. granulosus. The results show that hydatid patients reacted to eggs as well as protoscoleces and HCF. However, eggs share antigens in common with other life-cycle stages, but also support the notion that they may possess some unique stage-specific antigens determinants. The possible functional significance and the potential use of combined assessment of these antigens in IB with Ig G response in ELISA are discussed.

cystic echinococcosis hydatidosis hydatid patients echinococcus granulosus hydatid cyst fluid protoscoleces eggs

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  World Heath Organisation. Echinococcosis. WHO Factsheet. 2013. N° 37.
[2]  Kilani M, Darghouth M, Lahmar S, Jaoua H and Jemli, M. Rôle du chien dans l’épidémiologie du kyste hydatique en Tunisie. La Tunisie Médicale, 1986; 64: 333-337.
[3]  Kilani M, Lahmar S, Jemli MH, Darghouth MA, Jomaa I, Diouani F, Ben Miled L, Iraqi W and Ben Ismail R. Prevalence of Echinococcus granulosus in captured dogs in Tunisia (parasitic necropsy). XVIII international congress of Hydatidology. 1997 ; Novembrer; Lisbonne-Portugal.
[4]  Anonymous. L’incidence chirurgicale de l’hydatidose en Tunisie (1988-1992). Rapport de la Direction des Soins et de Santé de Base, Tunis-Tunisie-Ministère de la santé publique. 1993.
[5]  Teggi A. An up-to-date on clinical management of human cystic echinococcosis. Parasitologia. 2004; Dec; 46 (4): 405-7.
[6]  Wen H, New RRC, Craig PS. Diagnosis and treatement of human hydatidosis. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1993; 35: 565-574.
[7]  Lahmar S, Rebaï W, Boufana BS, Craig PS, Ksantini R, Daghfous A, Chebbi F, Fteriche F, Bedioui H, Jouini M, Dhibi M, Makni A, Ayadi MS, Ammous A, Kacem MJ, Ben Safta Z. Cystic echinococcosis in Tunisia: Analysis of hydatid cysts that have been surgically removed from patients. Annals of Tropical Medecine and Parasitology. 2009 October, 103 (7): 593-604.
[8]  M'rad S, Oudni-M'rad M, Boubaker G, Bouazzi L, Gorcii M, Nouri A, Mezhoud H, Babba H. Retrospective study of the distribution and the fertility of hydatid cysts in the child in Tunisia. Pathologie Biologie (Paris). 2012; Jun; 60 (3): 166-9.
[9]  Lahmar S, Trifi M, Ben NaceurS, Bouchhima T, Lahouar N, Lamouchi I, Maâmouri N, Selmi R, Dhibi M, Torgerson PR. Cystic echinococcosis in slaughtered domestic ruminants from Tunisia. Journal of Helminthology. 2013; September, 87(3): 318-25.
[10]  Lahmar S, Boufana BS, Inoubli S, Guadraoui M, Dhibi. M, Bradshaw H, Craig PS. Echinococcus in the wild carnivores and stray dogs of northern Tunisia: the results of a pilot survey. Annals of Tropical Medecine and Parasitology. 2009; 103 (4): 323-31.
[11]  M'rad S, Oudni-M’rad M, Filisetti D, Mekki M, Nouri A, Sayadi T, Candolfi E, Azaiez R, Mezhoud H, Babba H. Molecular identification of Echinococcus granulosus in Tunisia: First record of the Buffalo Strain (G3) in Human and Bovine in the Country. The Open Veterinary Science Journal. 2010; 4: 27-30.
[12]  Piantelli M, Pozzuoli R, Aru E, Musiani P. Echinococcus granulosus: Identification of subunits of the major antigens. Journal of Immunology. 1977; 119: 1382-1386.
[13]  Rickard MD, Lightowlers MW. Immunodiagnosis of hydatid disease. In : The biology of Echinococcus granulosus and hydatid disease (editor: R.C.A. Thompson). 1986. Georges Allen & Unwin, London: 217-249.
[14]  Lightowlers MW, Liu D, Haralambous A, Rickard MD. Subunit composition and specificity of the major cyst fluid antigen of Echinococcus granulosus. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 1989; 37: 171-182.
[15]  Chamekh M, Facon B, Dissous C, Haque A, Capron A. Use of monoclonal antibody specific for a protein epitope of Echinococcus granulosus antigen 5 in a competitive antibody radioimmunoassay for diagnosis of hydatid disease. Journal of Immunological Methods. 1990; 134: 129-137.
[16]  Varela-Diaz VM, Guisantes JA, Ricardes MI, Yarzabal LA, Coltorti EA. Evaluation of whole and purified hydatid fluid antigens in the diagnosis of human hydatidosis by the immuno-electrophoresis test. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1975; 24: 298-303.
[17]  Yarzabal LA, Dupa H, Bout DT, Naquira FR, Capron AR. Echinococcus granulosus: The distribution of hydatid fluid antigens in the tissue of the larval stage. II: Localisation of the thermostable lipoprotein of parasitic origin (Antigen B). Experimental Parasitology. 1977; 42: 115-120.
[18]  Shephered JC, McManus DP. Specific and cross-reactive antigens of Echinococcus granulosus hydatid cyst fluid. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 1987; 25: 143-154.
[19]  Maddison SE, Slemenda SB, Shantz PM, Fried JA, Wilson M, Tsang VCW. A specific diagnosis antigen of Echinococcus granulosus with an apparent molecular weight of 8 kDa. American Journal of Medecine and Hygiene. 1989; 40: 377-383.
[20]  Siracusano A, Ioppolo S, Notargiacomo S, Ortona E, Rigano R, Teggi A, De Rosa F, Vicari G. Detection of antibodies against Echinococcus granulosus major antigens and their subunits by immunoblotting. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medecine and Hygiene. 1991; 85: 239-243.
[21]  Leggatt GR, McManus DP. Identification and diagnostic value of a major antibody epitope on the 12 kDa antigen from Echinococcus granulosus (hydatid disease) cyst fluid. Parasite Immunology. 1992; 16: 87-96.
[22]  Riganò R, Profumo E, Bruschi F, Carulli G, Azzarà A, Ioppolo S, Buttari, B, Ortona E, Margutti P, Teggi, A, Siracusano, A. Modulation of human immune response by Echinococcus granulosus Antigen B and its possible role in evading host defenses. Infection and Immunity. 2001; Jan; 69(1): 288–296.
[23]  Craig PS, Rickard MD. Antibody responses of experimentally infected lambs to antigens collected during in vitro maintenance of the adult, metacestode or oncosphere stages of Taenia hydatigena and Taenia ovis with further observations on anti-oncospheral antibodies. Journal of Parasitology. 1982; 67: 197-209.
[24]  Craig PS, Rickard MD. Anti-oncospheral antibodies in serum of lambs experimentally infected with either Taenia ovis or Taenia hydatigena. Journal of Parasitology. 1981; 64: 169-177.
[25]  Craig PS, Macpherson CNL, Nelson GS. The identification of eggs of Echinococcus by Immunofluorescence using a specific anti-oncospheral monoclonal antibody. American Journal of Medicine and Hygiene. 1986; 35 (1): 152-158.
[26]  Rogan MT, Craig PS. Zehyle E, Masinde G, Wen H, Zhou P. In vitro killing of taeniid oncospheres mediated by human sera from hydatid endemic areas. Acta Tropica. 1992; 51: 291-296.
[27]  Heath DD, Lawrence SB. Antigenic polypeptides of Echinococcus granulosus oncospheres and definition of protective molecules. Parasite Immunology. 1996; 18: 347-357.
[28]  Lightowlers MW, Lawrence SB, Gauci CG, Young J, Ralston MJ, Maas D, Heath DD. Vaccination against hydatidosis using a defined recombinant antigen. Parasite Immunology. 1996; 18: 457-462.
[29]  Lowry OH, Rosbrough NJ, Farr AL, Randall RJ. Protein measurement with the Folin phenol reagent. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 1951; 193: 265-275.
[30]  Laemmli UK. Cleavage of structural protein during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature. 1970; 227: 680-685.
[31]  Towbin H, Staehlin T, Gordan J. Electrophoretic transfer of protein from polyacrylamide gels to nitrocellulose sheets: Procedure and some applications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 1979; 76: 4350-4354.
[32]  Yarzabal LA, Dupas H, Bout DT, Capron AR. Echinococcus granulosus: The distribution of hydatid fluid antigens in the tissue of the larval stage. I: Localisation of the specific antigen of hydatid fluid (antigen 5). Experimental Parasitology. 1976; 40: 391-396.
[33]  Moro PL, Bonifacio N, Gilman RH, Lopera L, Silva B, Takumoto R, Verastegui M, Cabrera L. Field diagnosis of Echinococcus granulosus infection among intermediate and definitive hosts in an endemic focus of human cystic echinococcosis. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1999; November-December; 93(6): 611-5.
[34]  Heath DD. The migration of oncospheres of Taenia pisiformis, Taenia serialis and Echinococcus granulosus within the intermediate host. International Journal for Parasitology. 1971; 1: 145-152.
[35]  Rausch RL. Studies on the helminth fauna of Alaska. The histogenesis of the alveolar larvae of Echinococcus species. Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1954; 94: 178-186.
[36]  Sakamoto T, Sugimura M. Electron microscopical observations on histogenesis of larval Echinococcus multilocularis. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research. 1970, 18: 131-144.
[37]  Heath DD, Lawrence SB. Echinococcus granulosus: development in vitro from oncosphere to immature hydatid cyst. Parasitology. 1976; 73: 417-423.
[38]  Alvarez Rojas CA, Romig T, Lightowlers MW. Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato genotypes infecting humans--review of current knowledge. International Journal of Parasitology. 2014; January; 44(1):9-18.
[39]  Pini C, Pastore R, Valesnin G. Circulating immune complexes in sera of patients infected with Echinococcus granulosus. Clinical and Experimental Parasitology. 1983; 51: 572.
[40]  Richard-Lenoble D, Smith MD, Loisy M, Verroust PJ. Human hydatidosis: Evaluation of three serodiagnostic methods, the principal subclass of specific immunoglobulin and the detection of immune complexes. Annals of Tropical Medecine and Parasitology. 1978; 72: 553-560.
[41]  Marinova I, Nikolov G, Michova, Kurdova AR, Petrunov B. Quantitative assessment of serum-specific IgE in the diagnosis of human cystic echinococcosis. Parasite Immunology, 2011; 33 (7): 371-376.
[42]  Craig PS, Nelson GS. The detection of circulating antigen in human hydatid disease. Annals of tropical Medecine and Parasitology. 1984; 78 (3): 219-227.
[43]  Kanwar JR, Vinayak VK.. The significance of free and immune-complexed hydatid specific antigen(s) as an immunodiagnostic tool for human hydatidosis. Journal of Medical Microbiololgy. 1992; 396-403.
[44]  Craig PS. Detection of specific circulating antigen, immune complexes and antibodies in human hydatidosis from Turkana (Kenya) and Great Britain, by enzyme-immunoassay. Parasite Immunology. 1986; 8 (2): 171-188.
[45]  Gottstein B. An immunoassay for the detection of circulating antigens in human echinococcosis. American Journal of Medicine and Hygiene. 1984; 33: 1185-1191.
[46]  Purriel P, Shantz PM, Bevoide H, Mendoza G. Human echinococcosis in Uruguay: A comparison of indices of morbidity and mortality. Bulletin of the World Health Organisation. 1973; 49: 395-402.
[47]  Bonifacino R, Malgor R, Barbeito R, Balleste R, Rodriguez J, Botto C, klug F. Seroprevalence of Echinococcus granulosus infection in a Uruguayan rural human population. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medecine and Hygiene. 1991; 85: 769-772.
[48]  Maizels RM. Infections and allergy-helminths, hygiene and host immune regulation. Current Opinion in Immunology, 2005; 17 (6): 656-661.
[49]  Leggatt GR, Yang W, McManus DP. Serological evaluation of the 12 kDa subunit of antigen B in Echinococcus granulosus cyst fluid by immuno-blot analysis. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1992; 86: 189-192.
[50]  Profumo E, Ortona E, Rigano R, Gioia I, Notargiacomo S, Ippolo S, Siracusano A. Cellular and humoral responses to antigenic subunit of Echinococcus granulosus cyst fluid in hydatid patients. Parasite Immunology. 1994; 16: 393-398.
[51]  Delunardo F, Ortona E, Margutti P et al.. Identification of a novel 19 kDa Echinococcus granulosus antigen. Acta Tropica, 2010; 113 (1): 42-47, 2010.
[52]  Daeki AO, Craig PS, Shambesh MK. IgG-subclass antibody responses and the natural history of hepatic cystic echinococcosis in asymptomatic patients. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, 2000; 94 (4): 319-328.
[53]  Moro PL, Garcia HH, Gonzales AE, Bonilla JJ, Verastegui M, Gilman RH. Screening for cystic echinococcosis in an endemic region of Peru using portable ultrasonography and the enzyme-linked immunoelectrotransfer blot (EITB) assay. Parasitology Research, 2005; 6 (4): 242-246.
[54]  Allen JE, Maizels RM. Diversity and dialogue in immunity to helminthes. Nature Reviews Immunology, 2011; 1: 375-388.