Researchers have made significant progress towards new diagnostic tests for schistosomiasis. This may help the World Health Organization (WHO) reach its goal of stopping the transmission of the disease and ultimately eliminating it.
Schistosomiasis, which is spread by parasitic schistosomiasis, is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions.
“This is a disease of poverty,” said Dr. Mark Pearson, a senior researcher at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University. “Although there are effective medicines available to treat it, it poses a serious health problem that contaminated drinking water and waterways lead to frequent reinfections.”
Genitourinary schistosomiasis (one of the two forms of the disease, which is covered in this study) affects an estimated 200 million people and causes both acute and chronic illnesses. It is also considered a risk factor for HIV, especially in women, and is associated with bladder cancer.
“To stop the spread of the disease test Sufficient sensitivity is required to identify low-level infected individuals. Low-level infected people can infect others with parasites even if they don’t know they are infected, “Dr. Pearson said.
The team also aimed for tests that were non-invasive, could be performed point-of-care (for example, by local healthcare professionals), and had rapid results.
The search focused on the proteins produced during the inhabitation of the human body by the parasite Schistosoma haematobium.
“Thanks to a collaborator at the University of California, we can fit nearly 1,000 of these proteins in a chip that’s about twice the size of a mobile phone’s SIM card, and which protein is the main target for antibody reactions,” he said. ..
Fluke protein is screened for antibodies in the blood and Urine sample Its international collaborators collected in previous studies in Gabon, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
“Importantly, these included samples from populations known to have low levels of infection, which clearly recognized the protein by antibodies from mildly and severely infected individuals. I was able to test if it was done, “says Dr. Pearson. ..
Candidate proteins were also screened by ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), a test that has been used since the 1970s to detect antibodies in the blood.
“Between the old-fashioned approach using high-tech chips and ELISA, we narrowed down our choices to five key candidates from 992 proteins and selected the two most sensitive,” said Dr. Pearson.
The result is a point-of-care test strip that, unlike pregnancy tests, carries a recombinant version of the selected protein and can also detect low-intensity schistosomiasis infections.
“This checks most of our boxes,” said Dr. Pearson. “It acts on serum (blood). The next step is to purify it for use as a urine test.
“this is International efforts, Africa and Europe, Australia, USA, Thailand researchers are participating. This represents an important step in protecting vulnerable communities from the most harmful small parasites. “
Survey results will be reported at Lancet microorganisms..
Mark S Pearson et al, Immunology-based findings of serum and urinary antibodies for diagnosing genitourinary schistosomiasis: Biomarker identification study, Lancet microorganisms (2021). DOI: 10.1016 / S2666-5247 (21) 00150-6
James Cook University
Quote: The closing of the new test for schistosomiasis (November 22, 2021) was taken from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-schistosomiasis.html on November 22, 2021.
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