Submitted to: Foodborne Disease Handbook
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 2, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Immunological diagnosis of human nematodiasis provides an alternative to direct, and often invasive, methods for the demonstration of infection and also serves as confirmation of other clinical and laboratory findings. Interpretation of immunological findings must be tempered with an understanding that immune status is not a direct reflection of current parasitological status, but rather an indication of acute, chronic or resolved infections. Serological methods for diagnosis of nematode infection have paralleled methods developed for diagnosis of other diseases in man and animals. The majority of tests currently used are solid phase, ELISA methods based on the use of defined antigens for antibody detection. The definition of specific antigens using monoclonal antibodies and other identification and separation techniques has greatly increased test specificity by eliminating cross reactions with other infectious agents. A Avery limited number of the nematodes infecting humans are transmitted through the ingestion of food products. For meat, Trichinella spiralis is the only nematode of importance in causing human disease. The number of nematodes transmissible to man from fish and invertebrates are greater in number, although these infections in man are less frequent and not as cosmopolitan as trichinellosis.