A diagnostic test for scabies: IgE specificity for a recombinant allergen of Sarcoptes scabiei

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;71(4):403-7. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2011.09.007. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


Scabies infestations are difficult to diagnose clinically and current serologic tests have less than 50% accuracy. To develop more reliable diagnosis of scabies, specific IgE antibodies to a major scabies antigen recombinant Sar s 14.3 (rSar s 14.3) were measured in 140 plasma samples from scabies-infested and control subject groups using dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassays (DELFIA). Levels of rSar s 14.3-specific IgE were quantified, and cross-reactivity with its house dust mite homologue, Der p 14, was assessed. The rSar s 14.3 DELFIA showed excellent diagnostic capability, with 100% sensitivity and 93.75% specificity for distinguishing subjects with current scabies infestation from control, uninfested subjects. Recombinant Der p 14 preparation was ineffective at inhibiting IgE binding to rSar s 14.3. This study shows that quantification of levels of IgE antibody to rSar s 14.3 is a highly sensitive method for diagnosis of scabies infestation in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allergens* / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cross Reactions
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Recombinant Proteins / genetics
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / chemistry*
  • Sarcoptes scabiei / immunology
  • Scabies / diagnosis*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Allergens
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E