Urine antigen detection for the diagnosis of human neurocysticercosis

Yesenia Castillo, Silvia Rodriguez, Hector H. García, Jef Brandt, Anke Van Hul, Maria Silva, Richar Rodriguez-Hidalgo, Mylagritos Portocarrero, D. Paolo Melendez, Armando E. Gonzalez, Robert H. Gilman, Pierre Dorny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a major cause of seizures and epilepsy. Diagnosis is based on brain imaging, supported by immunodiagnosis in serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Lumbar puncture is invasive and painful. Blood sampling is slightly painful and poorly accepted. Urine antigen detection has been used for other parasites and tried in NCC with suboptimal performance. We used a monoclonal antibody-based ELISA to detect Taenia solium antigens in urine from 87 Peruvian neurocysticercosis patients (viable cysts, N = 34; subarachnoid cysticercosis, N = 10; degenerating parasites, N - 7; calcified lesions, N = 36) and 32 volunteers from a non-endemic area of Peru. Overall sensitivity of urine antigen detection for viable parasites was 92%, which decreased to 62.5% in patients with a single cyst. Most patients (30/36,83%) with only calcified cysticercosis were urine antigen negative. Antigen levels in paired serum/urine samples (evaluated in 19 patients) were strongly correlated. Non-invasive urine testing for T. solium antigens provides a useful alternative for NCC diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-383
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


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