A comparative study on specific antibodies and circulating antigen (CAA) in serum and parasitological findings for diagnosis of schistosomiasis mansoni in an endemic area in Tanzania

Acta Trop. 1996 May;61(3):213-22. doi: 10.1016/0001-706x(95)00146-6.


A baseline study to evaluate the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni infection as well as the diagnostic efficacy of serodiagnostic tests was performed in Kabaganga village, Kome island, Lake Victoria, Tanzania. A total of 1108 individuals were examined parasitologically and clinically. Egg excretion was demonstrated by one-sample Kato-Katz test. Specific IgG1 and IgG4 antibodies against S. mansoni adult worm (SAWA) and egg (SEA) antigens as well as circulating anodic antigen (CAA) were determined in serum samples from 250 of these subjects. As a control population 41 individuals from a non-endemic area were examined parasitologically, clinically and serologically. In the parasitologically examined Kabaganga population 45% were excreting eggs. The pattern of egg excretion was typical for an endemic area with a peak in the age group 10-14 years. Sixty-five percent of the serologically tested villagers were positive in the CAA test. A total of 80% were positive in either of the two tests, indicating an active infection. In 67-95% of these individuals the levels of isotype specific antibodies were increased. The prevalence of CAA positivity corresponded fairly well with that of Kato-Katz results in the age groups 10-29 years, but in the younger age groups a considerably greater number of individuals were positive in the CAA test than in the Kato-Katz test. The results obtained indicate that virtually all of the Kabaganga villagers, regardless of age, had an ongoing, active infection or had previously been infected with S. mansoni. This population, therefore, may be useful for evaluation of the diagnostic efficacy of various antibody tests. The highest degree of discrimination between the endemic and the non-endemic village populations was noted for anti-egg IgG4 antibodies. It is concluded that the combined determination of parasite eggs in faeces and CAA in serum provides high sensitivity as regards active infection. Increased levels of isotype-specific antibodies, particularly of the IgG4 subclass, is a sensitive indicator of past or present infection, and the prevalence of individuals with such increased levels may be a simple and reliable indicator of the frequency of schistosomiasis in a community.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth / blood*
  • Antigens, Helminth / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Schistosoma mansoni / immunology*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / diagnosis*


  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Immunoglobulin G