In the serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis, the detection of specific reactions against not only protein but also carbohydrate antigen is useful and both antigens supplement each other. Though recombinant protein antigens have recently advanced, the preparation of carbohydrate antigen still depends on extraction from crude antigens. In the latter case, it is not conventional to obtain carbohydrate antigen as a single component for examination and research. Therefore, chemically synthesized carbohydrate antigens were prepared for serodiagnosis by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Four antigens with the structure of glycosphingolipids from Echinococcus multilocularis were examined and one antigen, Galβ1-6(Fucα1-3)Galβ1-6Galβ1- ceramide, was found to show significant serodiagnostic potential in differentiating alveolar from cystic echinococcosis.
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