Seven swine were experimentally infected with Taenia solium
eggs and blood samples from each animal were periodically collected. At the end of the experiment (t140) the animals did not show clinical aspects of cysticercosis or parasites in tongue inspection. All animals were slaughtered and cut into thin slices in searching for cysts. The number of cysts found in each animal varied from 1 to 85. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests for antibody (Ab) detection and for antigen (Ag) detection were performed, which presented respectively 71 and 57% of positivity.
By immunoblot (IB), using 18/14(T. crassiceps Ag) or lentil-lectin-purified glycoproteins from T. solium
Ag (LLGP) as Ag, five (71%) and six (86%) animals were positive, respectively. The association between Ag-ELISA with any IB (18/14 or LLGP) allowed the detection of all animals at 140 days post-experimental infection (days p.e.i.). The use of IB 18/14 combined to the Ag-ELISA allowed the detection of all animals since 70 days p.e.i., and the association between IB LLGP and Ag-ELISA allowed the detection of all animals since 112 days p.e.i. While all animals could be considered healthy by conventional screening tests, the use of immunoassays for detecting Ab and Ag showed better accuracy; therefore it would be more useful than usual clinical examination for screening cysticercosis in slightly infected pigs.