Factors influencing the serological response in hepatic echinococcus granulosus infection

Raffaella Lissandrin, Francesca Tamarozzi, Luca Piccoli, Carmine Tinelli, Annalisa De Silvestri, Mara Mariconti, Valeria Meroni, Francesca Genco, Enrico Brunetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of variables influencing serology is crucial to evaluate serology results for the diagnosis and clinical management of cystic echinococcosis (CE). We analyzed retrospectively a cohort of patients with hepatic CE followed in our clinic in 2000-2012 to evaluate the influence of several variables on the results of commercial enzymelinked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and indirect hemagglutination (IHA) tests. Sera from 171 patients with ≥ 1 hepatic CE cyst, and 90 patients with nonparasitic cysts were analyzed. CE cysts were staged according to the WHO-IWGE classification and grouped by activity. A significant difference in ELISA optical density (OD) values and percentage of positivity was found among CE activity groups and with controls (P <0.001). The serological response was also influenced by age (P <0.001) and cyst number (P = 0.003). OD values and cyst size were positively correlated in active cysts (P = 0.001). IHA test showed comparable results. When we analyzed the results of 151 patients followed over time, we found that serology results were significantly influenced by cyst activity, size, number, and treatment ≥ 12 months before serum collection. In conclusion, serological responses as assessed by commercial tests depend on CE cyst activity, size and number, and time from treatment. Clinical studies and clinicians in their practice should take this into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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