An ELISA test was developed to detect Paragonimus-specific
antibodies, including IgG subclasses, using P. mexicanus crude
water-soluble antigens. The test was standardized to detect
antibodies in sera of Ecuadorian patients with pulmonary
paragonimiasis and negative controls from the endemic area.
The detected mean levels of IgG (0.753, SEM: 0.074) and IgM
(0.303, SEM: 0.033) were significantly elevated (P<0.05).
Within the IgG subclasses, IgG4 showed the highest detected
mean level (0.365, SEM: 0.116) and the other three subclasses
showed considerably lower mean levels (IgG1, 0.186 SEM: 0.06;
IgG2, 0.046 SEM: 0.01; IgG3, 0.123 SEM: 0.047). The number of
P. mexicanus eggs found in sputum of infected individuals
showed a positive correlation with the level of antibodies
detected for IgM, IgG and its subclasses (P } 0.001). The
relevance of these findings in Ecuadorian patients suffering
from pulmonary paragonimiasis is discussed.