An IgG4 ELISA based on a novel recombinant antigen was evaluated for detection of Brugia malayi infection, using 2487 sera from various institutions: 2031 samples from Universiti Sains Malaysia, 276 blinded sera from 2 other institutions in Malaysia, 140 blinded sera from India and 40 blinded sera from Thailand. These sera were from various groups of individuals, i.e., microfilaraemics, chronic patients, endemic normals, non-endemic normals and individuals with other parasitic and bacterial infections. Based on a cut-off optical density reading of 0.300, the IgG4 ELISA demonstrated specificity rates of 95.6-100%, sensitivity rates of 96-100%, positive predictive values of 75-100% and negative predictive values of 98.9-100%. These evaluation studies demonstrated the high specificity and sensitivity of this test for the detection of active B. malayi infection. Thus, the IgG4 ELISA would be very useful as a tool in diagnosis and in elimination programmes for brugian filariasis.
A total of 753 serum samples from 6 institutions in 3 countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and India) were used to evaluate an immunochromatographic rapid dipstick test, Brugia Rapid, for diagnosis of Brugia malayi infection. The samples comprised sera from 207 microfilaria-positive individuals and 546 individuals from filaria non-endemic areas. The latter consisted of 70 individuals with soil-transmitted helminth infections, 68 with other helminth infections, 238 with protozoan infections, 12 with bacterial and viral infections and 158 healthy individuals. The dipstick is prepared with a goat anti-mouse antibody control line and a B. malayi recombinant-antigen test line. First, the dipstick is dipped into a well containing diluted patient serum, thus allowing specific anti-filarial antibody in the serum to react with the recombinant antigen. Then the dipstick is placed into an adjacent well containing reconstituted anti-human IgG4-gold. After 10 min, development of 2 red-purplish lines denotes a positive result and one line indicates a negative reaction. The overall results of the evaluation showed 97% sensitivity, 99% specificity, 97% positive predictive value and 99% negative predictive value. Brugia Rapid is thus a promising diagnostic tool for detection of B. malayi infection, and would be especially useful for the brugian filariasis elimination programme.