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Possible Antigenic Cross Reactivity between Hepatitis C Virus and Schistosoma Soluble Worm Antigens.

1Kouka SE Abdel-Wahab, 1Azza H El-Salakawy, 1Maha I Shehata, 2Yasser Mohamed and 3Maged Al-Sherbiny.

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Azhar University, 2Egyptian Reference Diagnostic Center (E-RDC), VACSERA, and 3Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.

The possible cross-reactivity between antibodies (Abs) to hepatitis-C Virus (HCV) and Schistosoma mansoni was investigated. Ninety-one serum samples were collected from Egyptian adult healthy male blood donor volunteers. Sera were assayed for HCV antibody using a third generation ELISA technique, and divided into two groups. Group I (n = 61) included the anti - HCV positive sera, and group II (n = 30) anti-HCV negative sera . For the two groups of sera, the seropositivity for anti - S.mansoni adult microsomal antigen (MAMA) was determined by Falcon assay screening test - ELISA (FAST-ELISA) and found to be higher in group I (78.7%) than group II (33.3%). In contrast, screening for anti - Escherchia coli Abs by passive haemagglutination test demonstrate positive results in 44 (72.1%) of group I, and 28 (93.3%) of group II. Elimination of schistosoma Abs from HCV +ve sera did not affect detection of HCV Abs when re-tested. It is concluded that Abs to immunogenic epitopes of HCV and schistosoma adult worm antigens are not cross-reactive.