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Diagnostic methods

Parasitological diagnosis
As for other liver flukes, diagnosis is achieved by detecting eggs in faecal samples. Due to considerable variability in size, it is difficult to distinguish eggs of different Asian liver fluke species.

Molecular diagnosis

There have been first attempts to detect and differentiate DNA from Asian liver flukes (C. sinensis, O. viverrini and O. felineus) in faecal samples using specific primers

Antigen detection
No tests developed so far

Antibody detection
Serological tests using crude worm antigens have good sensitivity but low specificities (cross-reactions with other trematode infections).
A better specificity – with a considerable loss in sensitivity! – can be achieved using recombinant or purified antigens (e.g. cysteine proteinase or excretory/secretory antigens).


Diagnostic strategies 

  1. To diagnose a symptomatic case
    Diagnosis is achieved by detecting ova in one or two stool samples
  2. To screen an exposed population
    One might use a serological method if only one trematode fluke species is prevalent in the study area