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  • Field-evaluation of a new lateral flow assay for detection of cellular and humoral immunity against Mycobacterium leprae.

Field-evaluation of a new lateral flow assay for detection of cellular and humoral immunity against Mycobacterium leprae.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases (2014-05-09)
Kidist Bobosha, Elisa M Tjon Kon Fat, Susan J F van den Eeden, Yonas Bekele, Jolien J van der Ploeg-van Schip, Claudia J de Dood, Karin Dijkman, Kees L M C Franken, Louis Wilson, Abraham Aseffa, John S Spencer, Tom H M Ottenhoff, Paul L A M Corstjens, Annemieke Geluk
ABSTRACT

Field-applicable tests detecting asymptomatic Mycobacterium leprae (M. leprae) infection or predicting progression to leprosy, are urgently required. Since the outcome of M. leprae infection is determined by cellular- and humoral immunity, we aim to develop diagnostic tests detecting pro-/anti-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines as well as antibodies against M. leprae. Previously, we developed lateral flow assays (LFA) for detection of cytokines and anti-PGL-I antibodies. Here we evaluate progress of newly developed LFAs for applications in resource-poor settings. The combined diagnostic value of IP-10, IL-10 and anti-PGL-I antibodies was tested using M. leprae-stimulated blood of leprosy patients and endemic controls (EC). For reduction of the overall test-to-result time the minimal whole blood assay time required to detect distinctive responses was investigated. To accommodate LFAs for field settings, dry-format LFAs for IP-10 and anti-PGL-I antibodies were developed allowing storage and shipment at ambient temperatures. Additionally, a multiplex LFA-format was applied for simultaneous detection of anti-PGL-I antibodies and IP-10. For improved sensitivity and quantitation upconverting phosphor (UCP) reporter technology was applied in all LFAs. Single and multiplex UCP-LFAs correlated well with ELISAs. The performance of dry reagent assays and portable, lightweight UCP-LF strip readers indicated excellent field-robustness. Notably, detection of IP-10 levels in stimulated samples allowed a reduction of the whole blood assay time from 24 h to 6 h. Moreover, IP-10/IL-10 ratios in unstimulated plasma differed significantly between patients and EC, indicating the feasibility to identify M. leprae infection in endemic areas. Dry-format UCP-LFAs are low-tech, robust assays allowing detection of relevant cytokines and antibodies in response to M. leprae in the field. The high levels of IP-10 and the required shorter whole blood assay time, render this cytokine useful to discriminate between leprosy patients and EC.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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