An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detecting antibody to antigenic Trichomonas vaginalis macromolecules has been identified using whole cells or an aqueous protein extract as antigen. The test was developed under optimum conditions using serum samples from experimental animals. The sensitivity of the ELISA was equal to or greater than that obtained by radioimmunoprecipitation and electrophoresis-fluorography techniques. The ELISA was capable of assessing antibody responses during the development of lesions in animals inoculated subcutaneously and it reproducibly measured the individual classes immunoglobulins directed at T vaginalis. The colorimetric assay was also suitable for showing cross reactivity between trichomonal species as well as between different strains of T vaginalis. Conditions established for monitoring antibody to trichomanads in immunised rabbits or infected mice were equally effective for human materials, such as serum or vaginal washes. Serum from experimental animals or infected people showed high concentrations of IgG, IgA, and IgM antibody to trichomonads. Only antibodies of the IgG and IgA class were detected in vaginal washes from women with acute trichomoniasis. No IgE antibody to trichomonads was found under a variety of conditions in serum samples from patients or experimental animals.
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