A commercial coproantigen ELISA test for fasciolosis, based on the use of MM3 monoclonal antibody for antigen capture, was investigated for possible cross-reactivity with Paramphistomum cervi, a trematode that commonly infects cattle and sheep grazing in fluke-infested pasture in Ireland. Histological sections of adult and immature Fasciola hepatica and P cervi were incubated with MM3 monoclonal antibody, and its binding to tissue-localised coproantigen was subsequently visualised by immunocytochemistry. In a related study, the soluble antigenic fractions derived from homogenates of P cervi adults and Taenia hydatigena metacestodes were tested for cross-reactivity with MM3 monoclonal antibody in an antigen-capture ELISA, using known F hepatica-positive and F hepatica-negative ovine faecal samples as natural controls. It was found that, while intense immunocytochemical labelling was located over the gastrodermis and gut contents of adult and immature F hepatica, sections of adult and immature P cervi were unlabelled. In the ELISA tests, the soluble fractions of F hepatica reacted strongly with MM3 monoclonal antibody, but those of P cervi and T hydatigena gave negative results. These findings support the specificity of the coproantigen ELISA test for fasciolosis in areas where paramphistomosis and cysticercosis are liable to occur singly or as coinfections with F hepatica.
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