Cercariae and adult Schistosoma mansoni were used to prepare, respectively, cercarial secretions (CS) and worm vomit (WoV). These were used as antigens in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to test the IgG-reactivity of sera obtained in an S. mansoni-endemic area of Burkina Faso. Among the egg-excreting individuals (n=240), 94.6% reacted positively with WoV, but only 62.9% with CS, thus suggesting a high diagnostic sensitivity of WoV, but not of CS. Among those individuals without detectable eggs in two Kato-Katz thick smears from different stool specimens (n=215), the respective percentages of positive IgG reactivity were 78.1% and 63.3%. These positive reactions in the absence of detectable eggs are interpreted in terms of limited sensitivity of parasitological stool examinations. Optical density values in ELISA with CS, but not with WoV, correlated negatively with age, which may reflect decreasing exposure to cercariae in older individuals.
(Accepted June 17 2005)