Date: 
01/08/2012
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

An expanded global focus on the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) has called attention to the need to develop and validate surveillance strategies that are cost effective and can be integrated across diseases. Here, we describe a multiplex tool for the sensitive detection of antibody responses to NTDs as well as vaccine preventable diseases, malaria, and waterborne and zoonotic infections. The assay platform is robust, can be performed with either serum or dried blood spots and can be adapted to local epidemiological conditions and public health priorities. Multiplex assays open the door to conducting routine serosurveillance for NTDs through demographic health surveillance or malaria indicator surveys.

Date: 
01/09/2012
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

Many developing and threshold countries rely on shallow groundwater wells for their water supply whilst pit latrines are used for sanitation. We employed a unified strategy involving satellite images and environmental monitoring of 16 physico-chemical and microbiological water quality parameters to identify significant land uses that can lead to unacceptable deterioration of source water, in a region with a subtropical climate and seasonally restricted torrential rainfall in Northern Argentina. Agricultural and non-agricultural sources of nitrate were illustrated in satellite images and used to assess the organic load discharged. The estimated human organic load per year was 28.5 BOD(5) tons and the N load was 7.5 tons, while for poultry farms it was 9940-BOD(5) tons and 1037-N tons, respectively. Concentrations of nitrates and organics were significantly different between seasons in well water (p values of 0.026 and 0.039, respectively). The onset of the wet season had an extraordinarily negative impact on well water due in part to the high permeability of soils made up of fine gravels and coarse sand. Discriminant analysis showed that land uses had a pronounced seasonal influence on nitrates and introduced additional microbial contamination, causing nitrification and denitrification in shallow groundwater. P-well was highly impacted by a poultry farm while S-well was affected by anthropogenic pollution and background load, as revealed by Principal Component Analysis. The application of microbial source tracking techniques is recommended to corroborate local sources of human versus animal origin.

Author: 
Date: 
01/01/2011
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

It is important to know whether the variability of species of Leishmania parasites circulating in a region affects the performance of the ELISA test for the diagnosis of leishmaniasis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the reactivity of the ELISA using homogenates of promastigotes of Leishmania (V.) braziliensis (ELISAb), Leishmania (L) amazonensis (ELISAa) and Leishmania (V.) guyanensis (ELISAg) against different sera groups. Samples from individuals with cutaneous leishmaniasis (n = 37), mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (n = 8), healthy controls (n = 52), persons infected with Trypanosoma cruzi (n = 11) and mixed infections (n = 14) were included in the study. We calculated sensitivities, specificities, cut offs, and predictive values for the three tests and compared them using ANOVA, kappa index, ROC curves comparison, and confidence intervals calculated by the bootstrap method. Significant differences were found when comparing the OD levels of sera from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis against healthy controls, but there were no differences when comparing the different ELISAs. The sensitivities calculated for ELISAb and ELISAa were 84.6 and of 88.5% for ELISAg, while the value of specificity for the three tests was 96.2. The kappa index (0.87) and comparison of ROC curves showed similar performance for the three ELISAs (p = 0.225). The high reactivity obtained for these ELISAs in sera of patients with mucocutaneous leishmaniasis indicates this test as an important complement in the diagnosis of the disease.

Date: 
01/01/2011
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

We report the occurrence of serious reactions after treatment with oral ivermectin in two patients with Mansonella ozzardi infections. Both had systemic and respiratory symptoms and recovered without sequelae. Follow-up revealed clearance of microfilaremia in both cases, with relapse in one of them. These reactions are well described in the treatment of other filarial infections, but have not yet been reported in the treatment of M. ozzardi. We are now reporting the first such known reactions with this helminthiasis.

Date: 
01/10/2010
Investigation Line: 

Abstract

The serodiagnosis of Strongyloides stercoralis infection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays based on crude antigen (CrAg-ELISA), while useful, has been limited by the reliance on crude parasite extracts. Newer techniques such as the luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay (LIPS), based on a 31-kDa recombinant antigen (termed NIE) from S. stercoralis and/or the recombinant antigen S. stercoralis immunoreactive antigen (SsIR), or the NIE-ELISA have shown promise in controlled settings. We compared each of these serologic assays in individuals from both regions of the world in which S. stercoralis is endemic and those in which it is not. A comprehensive stool evaluation (sedimentation concentration, Baermann concentration with charcoal cultures, agar plate, and Harada-Mori) and four different serologic techniques using CrAg-ELISA or recombinant NIE-ELISA as well as LIPS using NIE alone or in combination with a second recombinant antigen (NIE/SsIR-LIPS) were compared among individuals with parasitologically proven infection (n = 251) and healthy controls from regions of the world in which the infection is nonendemic (n = 11). Accuracy was calculated for each assay. The prevalence of S. stercoralis infection was 29.4% among Argentinean stool samples (n = 228). Sedimentation concentration and Baermann were the most sensitive stool-based methods. NIE-LIPS showed the highest sensitivity (97.8%) and specificity (100%) of the serologic assays. The calculated negative predictive value was highest for both the NIE-LIPS and CrAg-ELISA (>97%) irrespective of disease prevalence. No cross-reactivity with soil-transmitted helminths was noted. NIE-LIPS compares favorably against the current CrAg-ELISA and stool evaluation, providing additional accuracy and ease of performance in the serodiagnosis of S. stercoralis infections irrespective of disease prevalence.

Pages