Diagnostic and follow-up performance of serological tests for different forms/courses of alveolar echinococcosis

Gottstein, Bruno; Lachenmayer, Anja; Beldi, Guido; Wang, Junhua; Merkle, Bernadette; Vu, Xuan Lan; Kurath, Ursula; Müller, Norbert (2019). Diagnostic and follow-up performance of serological tests for different forms/courses of alveolar echinococcosis. Food and waterborne parasitology, 16, e00055. Elsevier 10.1016/j.fawpar.2019.e00055

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Diagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is predominantly based on imaging procedures combined with immunodiagnostic testing. In the present study, we retrospectively analyzed the performance of four serological tests (EgHF-ELISA, Em2-ELISA, recEm18-ELISA and Em-Immunoblotting) for initial diagnosis and subsequent monitoring of AE patients. Overall, 101 AE patients were included, grouped according to treatment options and immune status as follows: (A) curative surgical treatment (n = 45 patients), (B) non-radical or palliative surgical treatment (n = 11), (C) benzimidazoles only (n = 20), (D) immunocompromised with radical surgical treatment (n = 11), (E) immunocompromised with benzimidazoles only (n = 4), and finally a group of 10 AE patients (F) that were considered to present so-called "abortive" lesions. Initial (i.e. pretreatment) ELISA-based diagnosis for patients in groups A to E revealed overall diagnostic sensitivities of 95% for EgHF, 86% for Em2, and 80% for recEm18, respectively. Comparatively, the diagnostic sensitivity of Em-Immunoblotting was higher with an overall value of 98%. In group F, only Em-Immunoblotting had an excellent diagnostic sensitivity (100%), whereas the ELISAs had poor sensitivities of 30% (EgHF- and Em2-ELISA) or even 0% (recEm18-ELISA). Serological monitoring of AE patients showed a clear association between a curative development of disease (induced either by surgery or benzimidazole medication) and a negativization in the ELISAs. This effect was most pronounced for the recEm18-ELISA, where 56% negativized following diagnosis/treatment, as compared to 36% for the EgHF-ELISA, and 37% for the Em2-ELISA, respectively. After radical surgery, the mean time until negativization in the recEm18-ELISA was 2.4 years (SD 1.6). This was significantly shorter than the mean 3.9 years (SD 2.5) in those AE patients with non-radical, palliative surgery or ABZ treatment who were able to negativize during the study period (p = 0.048). Conclusively, Em-Immunoblotting appears as the most sensitive test to diagnose active as well as inactive ("abortive") AE-cases. The inclusion of the ELISAs completes the initial diagnostic picture and offers valuable additional information. Conversely, recEm18-ELISA appears as the currently best serological tool to monitor a regressive and putatively curative course of AE in treated patients.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute for Infectious Diseases > Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine > Visceral Surgery
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Gottstein, Bruno, Lachenmayer, Anja, Beldi, Guido, Wang, Junhua, Merkle, Bernadette, Vu, Xuan Lan, Kurath, Ursula, Müller, Norbert


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)








Norbert Müller

Date Deposited:

27 Mar 2020 11:53

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:37

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