The clinical diagnosis of trichinellosis is difficult because its clinical manifestations are nonspecific. Detection of anti- Trichinella IgG by ELISA using T. spiralis muscle larval excretory-secretory (ES) antigens is the most commonly used serological method for diagnosis of trichinellosis, but the main disadvantage is false negativity during the early stage of infection. There is an obvious window period between Trichinella infection and antibody positivity.
During the intestinal stage of Trichinella infection, the ES antigens of intestinal worms (intestinal infective larvae and adults) are exposed to host’s immune system at the earliest time and elicit the production of specific anti- Trichinella antibodies. Anti- Trichinella IgG antibodies in infected mice were detectable by ELISA with ES antigens of intestinal worms as soon as 8–10 days post infection (dpi), but ELISA with muscle larval ES antigens did not permit detection of infected mice before 12 dpi. Therefore, the new early antigens from T. spiralis intestinal worms should be screened, identified and characterized for early serodiagnosis of trichinellosis.