Author(s): Dziemian E, Zarnowska H, KoodziejSobociska M, Machnicka B
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Abstract Human toxocariasis is a zoonosis caused by infection with larvae of the ascarid nematode Toxocara canis and, less frequently, T. cati. Our study developed a method for distinguishing distant from recent human toxocariasis by assessing the avidity of the IgG antibodies. The avidity of specific antibodies increases with time after antigen challenge and assessment of the degree of avidity can be used to discriminate between recent and distant infections. The relative avidity was measured in 150 sera from children with visceral toxocariasis and in 46 sera from children with ocular toxocariasis. The probable time of infection was estimated on the basis of the medical history and clinical syndrome. Our study showed that 94.2\% of positive sera collected from patients reporting infection > 6 months ago had high IgG avidity values, confirming distant toxocariasis, whereas 25.9\% of positive sera taken < 6 months after infection showed low indices of IgG avidity. Our results suggest that measurement of the specific IgG avidity may assist in discriminating between recent and distant toxocariasis. The method can be used effectively to rule out (because of high avidity) a recently acquired infection. Low avidity is less reliable in discriminating between recent and distant infections.
This article was published in Parasite Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology