Serological screening for Echinococcus multilocularis

Last updated on 27-7-2023 by Amber Van Laer

Test description 

For the serological diagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis, a combination of an ELISA test targeting anti-E. multilocularis IgG (sensitive test) followed by confirmation of specificity by an immunoblot (highly sensitive and specific test) is used. The antigens used for this ELISA are the recombinant antigens Em2 and rEm18.


  1. ELISA IgG anti-E. multilocularis Em2-rEm18
    This test is carried out whenever alveolar echinococcosis is suspected.
  2. Western Blot
    This test is used for its high specificity: it can differentiate cystic echinococcosis from multilocular echinococcosis immunologically by detecting bands of different molecular weights.
    The western blot is highly sensitive and is sometimes the only positive test for echinococcosis (cystic echinococcosis in our experience). It is therefore recommended to prescribe it even during screening if there is a high level of radiological suspicion.

Instructions regarding the sample

  • Sample type: serum
  • Conditions for storage: conservation at 2-8°C
  • Required quantity: minimum 3-5 mL

Instructions for transportation

  • It is recommended that the serum be transported at a temperature of between 2 and 8°C. 
  • Labeling and conditions complying with the rules concerning infectious samples, containers, and packaging are applicable.

Demandes that cannot be accepted

If the request form is missing or if it’s incomplete.

Timeframe for receiving test results (and frequency of analysis)

  • Tests are carried out once a week. Results are available the same day or a week later if control is required. 
  • The “turnaround time” (TAT) for this type of analysis is 7 days.

Communication of the results

The results are communicated via a report sent by post or electronically. Positive results are communicated by telephone and faxed to the clinician.


Is the analysis accredited?

Materials and methods

Method reference: 
Screening Echinococcus multilocularis

Turnaround time and time slots

Turnaround time: 
7 days

Analysis categories


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