Serological screening for Echinococcus sp.

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

Test description 

To screen for echinococcosis whose clinical form is not precisely known, a combination of an ELISA test targeting anti-E. multilocularis Em2-rEm18 IgG and a CLIA (chemiluminescent immunoassay) test targeting anti-E. granulosus IgG is used.  If either of these tests is positive, or if there is clinical suspicion, a Western Blot is added to the screening panel for diagnosis or confirmation.


  1. ELISA IgG anti-E. multilocularis Em2-rEm18 + IgG anti-E. granulosus CLIA test
    This combination of tests is carried out whenever echinococcosis is suspected and in the absence of clinical or epidemiological data suggesting a specific form of echinococcosis.
  2. Western Blot
    This test is used for its high specificity and sensitivity: it can differentiate cystic echinococcosis from multilocular echinococcosis immunologically by detecting bands of different molecular weights. The western blot is performed when one of the ELISA or CLIA tests is positive. 

    In the NRL’s experience, a negative ELISA or CLIA test does not rule out a real echinococcosis infection, as in some cases only the western blot is positive. This is why screening is completed by a western blot when there is a strong suspicion of echinococcosis, despite the negativity of the ELISA test.

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: 
Dépistage sérologique Echinococcus sp.

Turnaround time and time slots

Turnaround time: 
7 days

Analysis categories


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