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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 516042, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/516042
Review Article

Immunodiagnosis of Neurocysticercosis: Ways to Focus on the Challenge

Departamento de Immunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), A.P. 70228, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 04510 México City, DF, Mexico

Received 1 June 2011; Revised 22 August 2011; Accepted 23 August 2011

Academic Editor: Luis I. Terrazas

Copyright © 2011 M. Esquivel-Velázquez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a disease of the central nervous system that is considered a public health problem in endemic areas. The definitive diagnosis of this disease is made using a combination of tools that include imaging of the brain and immunodiagnostic tests, but the facilities for performing them are usually not available in endemic areas. The immunodiagnosis of NCC is a useful tool that can provide important information on whether a patient is infected or not, but it presents many drawbacks as not all infected patients can be detected. These tests rely on purified or semipurified antigens that are sometimes difficult to prepare. Recent efforts have focused on the production of recombinant or synthetic antigens for the immunodiagnosis of NCC and interesting studies propose the use of new elements as nanobodies for diagnostic purposes. However, an immunodiagnostic test that can be considered as “gold standard” has not been developed so far. The complex nature of cysticercotic disease and the simplicity of common immunological assumptions involved explain the low scores and reproducibility of immunotests in the diagnosis of NCC. Here, the most important efforts for developing an immunodiagnostic test of NCC are listed and discussed. A more punctilious strategy based on the design of panels of confirmed positive and negative samples, the use of blind tests, and a worldwide effort is proposed in order to develop an immunodiagnostic test that can provide comparable results. The identification of a set of specific and representative antigens of T. solium and a thorough compilation of the many forms of antibody response of humans to the many forms of T. solium disease are also stressed as necessary.