Western blot analyses were performed on 444 serum specimens: 40 sera from microfilaraemic individuals, 10 sera from elephantiasis patients, 24 treated individuals, 50 sera from residents of endemic areas without anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies (endemic normals), 20 sera from amicrofilaraemic individuals with high anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies, 200 sera from healthy city-dwellers (non-endemic samples), and 100 sera from soil-transmitted helminth-infected individuals. Phast electrophoresis system was used to electrophorese Brugia malayi soluble adult worm antigen on 10-15% SDS-PAGE gradient gels followed by electrophoretic transfer onto PVDF membranes. Membrane strips were then successively incubated with blocking solution, human sera, and monoclonal anti-human IgG4 antibody-HRP, with adequate washings done in between each incubation step. Luminol chemiluminescence detection was then used to develop the blots. An antigenic band with the MW of approximately 37 kDa was found to be consistently present in the Western blots of all microfilaraemic sera, all amicrofilaraemic sera with high titres of anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies, some treated patients, and some elephantiasis patients. The antigen did not occur in immunoblots of individuals with other helminthic infections, normal endemic individuals, and city dwellers. Therefore the B. malayi antigen of with the MW of approximately 37 kDa demonstrated specific reactions with sera of B. malayi-infected individuals and thus may be useful for diagnostic application.
A specific monoclonal antibody (AW-3C2) as revealed by ELISA was produced against the adult worm antigens of Parastrongylus cantonensis and used in a sandwich ELISA for the detection of circulating antigens in the sera of parastrongyliasis patients and those with other parasitic diseases. A total of 60 sera was used in this study. Of these, 10 each were from patients with parastrongyliasis, cysticercosis, filariasis, gnathostomiasis, malaria and toxocariasis. The control group consisted of 53 serum samples from normal healthy Thais and Malaysians. The mean +/- optical density (OD) values for the normal Thai and Malaysian groups were 0.126 +/- 0.028 and 0.124 +/- 0.029, respectively. The mean OD values of the parastrongyliasis patient group differed significantly from that of the normal groups as well as those of other parasitic infections. Using a cut-off point of OD +/- 3SD of the control groups as indicating a positive reading, the specificity of the assay with this monoclonal antibody was 100% while the sensitivity was 50%.
This study investigated the applications of recombinant monoclonal antibodies (rmAbs) produced against two recombinant filarial proteins of diagnostic value. Ab5B and Ab3A were produced against recombinant BmSXP, and Ab4 and Ab4-fragment crystallizable (Fc) against recombinant BmR1. Ab5B and Ab4-Fc were found to be useful as quality control (QC) reagents for two commercial rapid test kits, such as Brugia RapidTM and BLF Rapid® (Reszon Diagnostics International Sdn. Bhd., 47600 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia), respectively. The two rmAbs reacted positively with the corresponding recombinant proteins lined on the nitrocellulose strips of the cassette tests, thus may replace or reduce the need for patient serum samples as positive controls for QC of the commercial kits. They were also successfully conjugated to gold nanoparticles and reacted positively with the test lines containing the corresponding recombinant proteins when directly applied to the cassette tests. The gold-conjugated reagents can be used to confirm the antigenicity of test lines after the storage of the rapid tests for a prolonged period or under unfavorable conditions. Furthermore, Ab5B and Ab3A were shown to be able to capture the target recombinant proteins through immunoaffinity purification, enabling their use for applications that need very highly purified proteins. In conclusion, this study demonstrated several potential uses of rmAb proteins produced against recombinant filarial proteins.
Traditionally serum and/or CSF specimens have been used for detection of either specific antibodies or antigens as a supportive diagnosis of NCC. However, in recent days, much interest has been shown employing noninvasive specimens such as urine. In our study, we identified and compared a profile of circulating antigenic peptides of parasite origin in three different body fluids (CSF, serum and urine) obtained from confirmed NCC cases and control subjects. The circulating antigenic peptides were resolved by SDS-PAGE and subjected to immunoblotting. For confirmation of their origin as parasite somatic or excretory secretory (ES) material, immunoreactivity was tested employing affinity purified polyclonal Taenia solium metacestode anti-somatic or ES antibodies, respectively. Only lower molecular weight antigenic peptides were found circulating in urine in contrast to serum and CSF specimens. Few somatic peptides were identified to be 100% specific for NCC (19·5 kDa in all three specimens; 131, 70 kDa in CSF and serum only; 128 kDa in CSF only). Similarly, the specific ES peptides detected were 32 kDa (in all three specimens), 16·5 kDa (in serum and CSF only), and 15 kDa (urine only). A test format detecting either one or more of these specific peptides would enhance the sensitivity in diagnosis of NCC.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) caused by infection with Echinococcus granulosus is of major concern for humans in many parts of the world. Antigen B was prepared from E. granulosus hydatid fluid, and Western blots confirmed eight batches showing a band corresponding to the 8-/12-kDa subunit with positive serum and no low-molecular mass band (< 15 kDa) with negative serum. The batches were pooled and used to prepare lateral flow immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) and IgG dipsticks. Diagnostic sensitivity was determined using serum samples from 21 hydatidosis patients, and diagnostic specificity was established using sera from 17 individuals infected with other parasites and 15 healthy people. IgG4 dipstick had a diagnostic sensitivity of 95% (20 of 21) and a specificity of 100% (32 of 32). The IgG dipstick had a sensitivity of 100% (21 of 21) and a specificity of 87.5% (28 of 32). Thus, both IgG and IgG4 dipsticks had high sensitivities, but IgG4 had greater specificity for the diagnosis of human CE.
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.
Three MAbs 1C4.2D8, 1C4.2C4 and 1C4.1F5 were produced using sonicated adult worm antigens of Angiostrongylus malaysiensis and they were found to be secreters of IgG1. The MAbs 1C4.2C4 and 1C4.2D8 were found to react with antigens of A. malaysiensis and cross-react with the closely related A. cantonensis but not with other helminths. A total of 108 human sera collected from Orang Asli (aborigenes) from Grik, in the State of Perak were tested for A. malaysiensis infection using the MAb-ELISA. MAb 1C4.1F5 and 25 (23%) were positive. Twenty of these positive samples were tested with the MAb 1C4.2D8 and none was found to be positive.
A dot-blot ELISA was compared with a previously performed sandwich ELISA for the detection of Parastrongylus cantonensis antigens in sera from patients. Using the same monoclonal antibody and the same sera, 6 of 10 sera (60%) from parastronglyiasis patients were positive in dot-blot ELISA, whereas with sandwich ELISA, 5 of the same patient sera (50%) were positive. The specificity in both assays was 100% using 50 sera from patients with other parasitic diseases; of these, 10 each were from patients with cysticercosis, filariasis, gnathostomiasis, malaria and toxocariasis. The control group consisted of 53 sera from normal health Thais and Malaysians. The sensitivity of the assays was, however, slightly better with dot-blot ELISA and because it is simple, quick and cost-effective, it may be a test of choice for specific diagnosis of human parastrongyliasis.
An investigation into the epidemiology of Trypansoma evansi infection in crossbred dairy cattle was conducted for a period of 12 months on a dairy cattle farm in Penninsular Malaysia. The prevalence of parasitaemia was highest in lactating animals (13.4%), followed by those in the dry herd (8.8%), late pregnant animals (8.1%), early pregnant animals (4.7%), calves (0.3%) and heifers (0.2%). The prevalence of antigenaemia was highest in the lactating animals (54.7%), followed by that in dry animals (53.7%), heifers (51.1%), late pregnant animals (47.7%), early pregnant animals (46.5%) and calves (24.2%).
At the end phase of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, antibody testing may have a role in decision-making for bancroftian filariasis-endemic areas. This study evaluated the diagnostic performance of BLF Rapid™, a prototype immunochromatographic IgG4-based test using BmSXP recombinant protein, for detection of bancroftian filariasis. The test was evaluated using 258 serum samples, comprising 96 samples tested at Universiti Sains Malaysia (in-house) and 162 samples tested independently at three international laboratories in the USA and India, and two laboratories in Malaysia. The independent testing involved 99 samples from Wuchereria bancrofti microfilaria or antigen positive individuals and 63 samples from people who were healthy or had other infections. The in-house evaluation showed 100% diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. The independent evaluations showed a diagnostic sensitivity of 84-100% and 100% specificity (excluding non-lymphatic filarial infections). BLF Rapid has potential as a surveillance diagnostic tool to make "Transmission Assessment Survey"-stopping decisions and conduct post-elimination surveillance.
The purpose of this study is to determine the relevance of the hygiene hypothesis; that is to determine if worm infestation has a protective role against the development of allergic rhinitis. A prospective case controlled study was conducted. Specific IgG levels to Toxocara were studied in 85 patients confirmed to have allergic rhinitis and were compared to levels in another 85 controls, with no form of allergy. The IgG assay was done using ELISA technique. There was a higher incidence of positive specific IgG to Toxocara in the controls as compared to allergic patients. The values were statistically significant [Chi square test (p=0.002)]. This negative association between worm infestation and allergic rhinitis suggests that a previous worm infestation could protect against the development of allergic rhinitis.