A highly specific pattern of immunofluorescence was noted when sera from Capillaria hepatica
-infected rats were tested against the homologous worms and eggs present either in paraffin or cryostat sections from mouse liver. The pattern was represented by a combined apple green fluorescence of the internal contents of worms and eggs, which persisted in serum-dilutions of 1:400 up to 1:1600. Unequivocal fluorescent pattern was observed from 15 days up to 3 months following inoculation of rats with embryonated C. hepatica
eggs and such result was confirmed by the ELISA. After the 4th month of infection, the indirect immunofluorescence test turned negative, probably revealing the extinction of parasitism, however the ELISA was contradictory, disclosing high levels of antibodies in this period . The IIF was also negative when control normal rat sera and sera from rats administered by gavage with immature C. hepatica
eggs (spurious infection), or for reactions made against Schistosoma mansoni
eggs, although a weakly positive pattern occurred with Fasciola hepatica
eggs. The indirect immunofluorescence test may be recommended for use with human sera to detect early C. hepatica
infection in special clinical instances and in epidemiological surveys, since it is a simple, inexpensive, and reliable test, presenting excellent sensitivity and specificity. Although the diagnosis is positive only during early infection, this is the period when the symptoms are usually more severe and the need for differential diagnosis is greater.