Diagnostics from the bench to the field

The genomic era has brought with it the ability to identify novel biomarkers and develop new nucleic acid-based diagnostic tests. These tests are more specific and sensitive than parasitological or immunological methods and can detect infection in both humans and insect vectors.  Highly accurate tests for diagnosis and surveillance are required to identify areas where mass distribution of ivermectin is needed as well as locations where treatment is no longer required. We are working with our colleagues in Cameroon to demonstrate the utility of LAMP-based diagnostics. Recently, the LAMP technology has been validated in natural field conditions and used to detect Onchocerca volvulus parasites in human skin snips (1) as well as blackfly vectors (2). Similar tests have been used to detect Loa loa infection in the insect vector, Chrysops (3).

 

  1. Abong R.A., et al. 2020 BMC Infect. Dis. PMID: 33008333
  2. Abong R.A., et al. 2020 PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. PMID: 33465080
  3. Amambo G.N., et al. 2021 Parasit. Vectors PMID: 33407819

 

 

Microfilaria in blood film.