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Purification and description of the antigens of pork tapeworms (Taenia crassiceps) for the development of diagnostic reagents for human cysticerosis

Grant number: 97/02245-6
Support type:Research Grants - Research Partnership for Technological Innovation - PITE
Duration: December 01, 1997 - December 31, 2000
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology - Applied Immunology
Principal researcher:Adelaide José Vaz
Grantee:Adelaide José Vaz
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Company: Biolab Merieux S/A
City: São Paulo


Cysticercosis is a serious problem in the Public Health system in Brazil, caused by the presence of the Taenia solium (Cysticercus cellulosae) larvae in the human organism. Frequent locations are the skeletal muscle, the ocular system and the central nervous system. The nervous form, neurocysticerosis, is considered to be of the greatest clinical concern. However, a safe diagnosis of neurocysticerosis is difficult due to the large variety of clinical possibilities and inconsistencies of the symptoms presented. Computerized tomography of the cranium and magnetic resonance are currently the techniques that help with the diagnosis. They are, however, very expensive and it is not always possible to reach a conclusive diagnosis. The immunological evaluation in the serum and its correlation with the cephalo-rachidian liquid (CRL) are determining elements in the evolution of the disease. Various techniques have been developed as a diagnostic, both through serum and through LCR, the Elisa test being the method of choice. The difficulty of obtaining antigen extracts from naturally infected pigs and the low specificity of the Elisa tests, mainly in serum, indicate the need to invest in new discoveries. Consequently, the objective of this project was to obtain antigens from an experimental source, as well as the preparation and purification of antigen fractions for use in rapid and low cost testing, which make it possible to detect indicators of this disease in the human organism. The research reached its proposed result, and the product is now in the improvement stage, prior to being produced on a commercial scale. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
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