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QualiCode™ Cysticercosis Western Blot Kit

The Disease

Cysticercosis is a chronic disease worldwide resulting from infection with the parasite Taenia solium, the pork tapeworm. The infection is endemic in parts of Southeast Asia, Africa, the Philippines, Mexico, Latin America and eastern Europe. Immigrants with imported T. solium infections has been reported with increasing frequency in the USA, particularly southern California.

The lifecycle of Taenia solium has three stages: egg, larvae and adult; and requires two hosts, the human and the pig. The disease cysticercosis is actually transmitted by the ingestion of food that has been contaminated with T. solium eggs. The larvae hatch in the small intestine and enter the bloodstream through the intestinal wall. From there, the organism can proceed to several different types of tissue including the CNS, where it will encyst and develop into a cysticercus.

Cysticercosis can be very difficult to diagnose due to the wide range of symptoms which often resemble epilepsy or migraine headaches. In addition, the observed cross-reactivity of cysticercosis patient sera with antigens of other parasites has limited the accuracy of serological techniques such as ELISA. The Qualicode Cysticercosis Kit is an ideal tool to confirm the presence of antibodies to T. solium. Once diagnosed, cysticercosis may be effectively treated with several drugs.

Highlights

The QualiCode™ Cysticercosis Western Blot Kit offers:
Qualitative detection of lgG antibodies to T. solium

Studies performed by the CDC have shown this assay method to approach 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity.

Fast turn around time for test results under 1 1/2 hours.

Batch testing of samples.

Principle

The QualiCode™ Cysticercosis Western Blot Kit provides a sensitive and specific means for detection of IgG antibodies to Taenia solium. This kit has been developed under license from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, where the original assay method was developed. T. solium glycoprotein antigens have been purified from porcine cysts by lectin affinity chromatography. Purified T. solium antigen is fractionated according to molecular weight by electrophoresis on a sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide slab gel. The separated T. solium antigen is transferred via electrophoretic blotting from the gel to a membrane. The membrane is then cut into strips for individual sample testing.

Methodology

Three Simple Steps:
Diluted serum/plasma, containing antibodies, is added to a strip containing T. solium antigens and incubated.

Goat anti-human immunoglobulin-alkaline phosphatase Conjugate is added and will bind to any T. solium antibody/protein complexes.

Added BCIP/NBT Substrate Solution reacts with the enzyme. Antibody/protein complexes appear as colored bands. The bands of protein, like a bar code, are unique for T. solium.

To interpet data, compare the Strip to the lot-specific immunostained Reference Strip included with every kit for band identification and the intensity of the bands is monitored by comparison to the Cysticercosis Positive Control.

Components

To simplify interpretation of results, the following components are provided with every kit:
Reference Strips - every kit contains a lot-specific immunostained Reference Strip. This strip is taken from the left edge of the same membrane used to create the kit’s Strips. The strips have already been developed using the Positive Control providing a quick reference for all patient samples and controls.

Positive and Negative Controls (100 µl each) - provide internal QC to verify that the assay has run correctly.

Record Sheet - this sheet provides a grid for aligning the sample strips with the Reference Strips. This not only simplifies interpretation of results but also provides full documentation of the assay. On one slip of paper all results are recorded along with date, operator, kit lot number/expiration date, and interpretation of the band patterns.