The Enzyme-linked Immunoelectrotransfer Blot (EITB) has been used widely as a screening test for Taenia solium cysticercosis in swine. However, the relation between seropositivity and infection in pig populations from endemic areas has not been well defined. The aim of this study is to relate EITB seropositivity with infection and infection burden, analyse the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity with various cut-off points for the EITB assay, and finally describe the serology changes in a cohort of rural pigs raised under natural conditions. A group of 107 pigs that were used as controls during a vaccination field trial in Peru was our study population. The prevalence of porcine cysticercosis determined by necropsy examination was 16.82% (18/107) in these animals. Using EITB reactivity to ≥1 band as a cut-off point for the assay, the sensitivity was 88.89% (65.29-98.62, 95% CI) and the specificity was 48.31% (37.59-59.16, 95% CI). Comparing other cut-off points, involving up to as many as 7 reactive bands, a reactivity of ≥3 bands provided the best trade-offs in sensitivity and specificity. Using this cut-off point for the assay, the sensitivity was 77.77% (52.36-93.59, 95% CI) and the specificity was 76.40% (66.22-84.76, 95% CI). A significant association was found between cyst counts over 100 cysts and reactivity to ≥3 bands in the EITB assay (Fisher's exact test, p<. 0.05). The results of this study suggest that the use of the EITB assay to study porcine cysticercosis may require setting different cut-offs under field and experimental conditions, and depending upon the objective of the screening process.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank the Cysticercosis Working Group in Peru staff in Tumbes, and the staff of the Veterinary Preventive Medicine Laboratory at the Veterinary Faculty of San Marcos University in Lima, for their technical support and assistance. The authors thank especially Gianfranco Arroyo, Eduardo Barrón, Juan Huamán and Juan Chanta for their outstanding support with the field work. Drs Patty Wilkins and Victor Tsang generously supplied the cysticercus antigen preparation that was used in the EITB assays. Funding from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (grant numbers 350279 , 628320 , 100354 ) is acknowledged. Hector H. Garcia is a Wellcome Trust Senior International Research Fellow.
- Enzyme-linked Immunoelectrotransfer Blot (EITB) assay
- Porcine cysticercosis
- Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve