A four-antigen mixture for rapid assessment of Onchocerca volvulus infection.

  • Burbelo P
  • Leahy H
  • Iadarola M
 et al. 
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Onchocerciasis, an infection caused by the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus, is a major public health concern. Given the debilitating symptoms associated with onchocerciasis and concerns about recrudescence in areas of previous onchocerciasis control, more efficient tools are needed for diagnosis and monitoring of control measures. We investigated whether luciferase immunoprecipitation systems (LIPS) may be used as a more rapid, specific, and standardized diagnostic assay for Onchocerca volvulus infection. METHODS: Four recombinantly produced Onchocerca volvulus antigens (Ov-FAR-1, Ov-API-1, Ov-MSA-1 and Ov-CPI-1) were tested by LIPS on a large cohort of blinded sera comprised of both uninfected controls and patients with a proven parasitic infection including Onchocerca volvulus (Ov), Wuchereria bancrofti (Wb), Loa loa (Ll), Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss), and with other potentially cross-reactive infections. In addition to testing all four Ov antigens separately, a mixture that tested all four antigens simultaneously was evaluated in the standard 2-hour incubation format as well as in a 15-minute rapid LIPS format. FINDINGS: Antibody responses to the four different Ov antigens allowed for unequivocal differentiation between Ov-infected and uninfected control sera with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. Analysis of the antibody titers to each of these four antigens in individual Ov-infected sera revealed that they were markedly different and did not correlate (r(S) = -0.11 to 0.58; P = 0.001 to 0.89) to each other. Compared to Ov-infected sera, patients infected with Wb, Ll, Ss, and other conditions had markedly lower geometric mean antibody titers to each of the Ov 4 antigens (P

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