PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Serological surveillance development for tropical infectious diseases using simultaneous microsphere-based multiplex assays and finite mixture models.

PMID 25078404


A strategy to combat infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), will depend on the development of reliable epidemiological surveillance methods. To establish a simple and practical seroprevalence detection system, we developed a microsphere-based multiplex immunoassay system and evaluated utility using samples obtained in Kenya. We developed a microsphere-based immuno-assay system to simultaneously measure the individual levels of plasma antibody (IgG) against 8 antigens derived from 6 pathogens: Entamoeba histolytica (C-IgL), Leishmania donovani (KRP42), Toxoplasma gondii (SAG1), Wuchereria bancrofti (SXP1), HIV (gag, gp120 and gp41), and Vibrio cholerae (cholera toxin). The assay system was validated using appropriate control samples. The assay system was applied for 3411 blood samples collected from the general population randomly selected from two health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) cohorts in the coastal and western regions of Kenya. The immunoassay values distribution for each antigen was mathematically defined by a finite mixture model, and cut-off values were optimized. Sensitivities and specificities for each antigen ranged between 71 and 100%. Seroprevalences for each pathogen from the Kwale and Mbita HDSS sites (respectively) were as follows: HIV, 3.0% and 20.1%; L. donovani, 12.6% and 17.3%; E. histolytica, 12.8% and 16.6%; and T. gondii, 30.9% and 28.2%. Seroprevalences of W. bancrofti and V. cholerae showed relatively high figures, especially among children. The results might be affected by immunological cross reactions between W. bancrofti-SXP1 and other parasitic infections; and cholera toxin and the enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), respectively. A microsphere-based multi-serological assay system can provide an opportunity to comprehensively grasp epidemiological features for NTDs. By adding pathogens and antigens of interest, optimized made-to-order high-quality programs can be established to utilize limited resources to effectively control NTDs in Africa.