Two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) using either excretory/secretory (ES) products or crude somatic antigens (CSA) of adult Haemonchus contortus were compared for their ability to detect antibodies against H. contortus in sheep. Serum samples obtained from a group of 32 H. contortus mono-infected sheep were tested in the two ELISAs and the obtained data were compared with the results of the faecal examinations of these sheep. The first sheep became patent 3 weeks post infection (p.i.) and all sheep had positive egg counts at week 5 p.i. The first antibodies against H. contortus were detected 1 week p.i. and all sheep were found positive by both ELISAs at week 4 p.i. Using sera from a large number of H. contortus-infected sheep a difference in sensitivity between the ES ELISA (97.7%) and the CSA ELISA (89.2%) was found. The specificity of each assay was determined by testing sera obtained from sheep with mono-infections of H. contortus, Trichostrongylus colubriformis, Trichostrongylus vitrinus, Ostertagia circumcincta, Nematodirus battus, Cooperia curticei, Fasciola hepatica, Taenia ovis or Eimeria spp. The specificity of the ES ELISA was 87.2%, whereas the specificity of the CSA ELISA was 82.7%.
- Haemonchus contortus
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