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A new rapid diagnostic test for detection of anti-Schistosoma mansoni and anti-Schistosoma haematobium antibodies

Jean T Coulibaly1234*, Eliézer K N’Goran34, Jürg Utzinger12, Michael J Doenhoff5 and Emily M Dawson5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, CH-4002, Basel, Switzerland

2 University of Basel, P.O. Box, CH-4003, Basel, Switzerland

3 Unité de Formation et de Recherche Biosciences, Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny, 22 BP 770, Abidjan 22, Côte d’Ivoire

4 Centre Suisse de Recherches Scientifiques en Côte d’Ivoire, 01 BP 1303, Abidjan 01, Côte d’Ivoire

5 School of Biology, University of Nottingham, University Park, NG7 2RD, Nottingham, UK

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Parasites & Vectors 2013, 6:29  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-29

Published: 29 January 2013



Parasitological methods are widely used for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis. However, they are insensitive, particularly in areas of low endemicity, and labour-intensive. Immunoassays based on detection of anti-schistosome antibodies have the merit of high sensitivity and recently a rapid diagnostic test (RDT), incorporating Schistosoma mansoni cercarial transformation fluid (SmCTF) for detection of anti-schistosome antibodies in blood has been developed. Here, we assessed the diagnostic performance of the SmCTF-RDT for S. mansoni and S. haematobium infections by comparing it with microscopy for egg detection.


A cross-sectional survey was carried out in Azaguié, south Côte d’Ivoire. 118 pre-school-aged children submitted two stool and two urine samples, which were subjected to the Kato-Katz and urine filtration methods for the detection of S. mansoni and S. haematobium eggs, respectively. Urine was also subjected to a commercially available cassette test for S. mansoni, which detects circulating cathodic antigen. A finger-prick blood sample was used for the SmCTF-RDT for detection of anti-S. mansoni and anti-S. haematobium antibodies.


The prevalence of both anti-S. mansoni and anti-S. haematobium antibodies was more than three times higher than the prevalence of infection estimated by egg detection under a microscope. Using quadruplicate Kato-Katz as the reference standard for the diagnosis of S. mansoni infection, the sensitivity, negative predictive value (NPV), and positive predictive value (PPV) of the SmCTF-RDT was 75.0%, 84.2% and 22.5%, respectively. When two urine filtrations were considered as the reference standard for the diagnosis of S. haematobium infection, the sensitivity, NPV and PPV of SmCTF-RDT was 66.7%, 94.9% and 5.1%, respectively. The specificity of SmCTF-RDT, when using egg-detection as the reference standard, was estimated to be 34.4%. This low specificity may be a reflection of the relative insensitivity of the direct diagnostic approaches using microscopy.


The SmCTF-RDT is at least as sensitive as duplicate Kato-Katz and a single urine filtration for detection of S. mansoni and S. haematobium, respectively. Further investigations into the specificity of the test for anti-schistosome antibodies are necessary, but our results suggest that it may be a useful tool for mapping the prevalence of anti-schistosome antibodies in a given population pending intervention.

Schistosomiasis; Schistosoma haematobium; Schistosoma mansoni; Diagnosis; Antibodies; Cercariae; Sensitivity; Specificity; Positive predictive value; Negative predictive value; Côte d’Ivoire