Drame, Papa (NIAID)
Bennuru, Sasisekha (NIAID)
Loa loa is a filarial nematode estimated to infect 3-13 million people in Central and Western Africa. In parts of Africa, mass administration of ivermectin is common for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis control. However, some individuals infected with Loa loa microfilariae in high densities are known to experience post-ivermectin severe adverse events, such as encephalopathy, coma, or even death. Therefore, diagnostic tools that can accurately identify and differentiate Loa loa microfilariae from other filarial infections are needed. Microscopic evaluation of blood samples is the only current diagnostic method used to detect Loa loa microfilaremia in endemic areas, and is impractical for widespread screening. Molecular based assays are useful and are quantitative, but require the use of sophisticated instrumentation.
The inventors analyzed samples from Loa loa infected patients and uninfected controls, and have identified Loa loa microfilaria-specific antigens. The pending application claims a variety of means of detecting these antigens.
- Highly specific to Loa loa microfilariae
- Highly sensitive
- Both diagnostic and quantitative
- Works with blood, urine, or saliva sample