Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected parasitic disease that affects millions in tropical and subtropical countries and is caused by Wuchereria and Brugia species. Specific and sensitive detection methods are essential in mapping infected areas where rapid tests are needed to cover underdeveloped and remote regions, which facilitates eliminating the disease as a public health problem. A few commercialized rapid tests based on antigen or antibody detection are available, but the former only detects infection by Wuchereria species and cross-reacts with nonlymphatic filaria, whereas antibody detection might provide positive results of previous infection. Here, we report the production of three different recombinant immunoglobulin gamma (IgG)1 antibodies based on scFvs previously generated via human antibody phage display technology, that is, anti-BmR1 clone 4, anti-BmXSP clone 5B, and anti-BmXSP clone 2H2. The scFv sequences were cloned into a pCMV-IgG1 vector, then transfected into a HEK293F cell line. The generated antibodies were found to be able to bind to their respective targets even at relatively low concentration. Conjugation of Fc to scFv induces binder stability and provides multiple labeling sites for probes and signaling molecules that can be used in rapid tests.
De novo approach was applied to design single chain fragment variable (scFv) for BmR1, a recombinant antigen from Bm17DIII gene which is the primary antigen used for the detection of anti-BmR1 IgG4 antibodies in the diagnostic of lymphatic filariasis. Three epitopes of the BmR1 was previously predicted form an ab initio derived three-dimensional structure. A collection of energetically favourable conformations was generated via hot-spot-centric approach. This resulted in a set of three different scFv scaffolds used to compute the high shape complementary conformations via dock-and-design approach with the predicted epitopes of BmR1. A total of 4227 scFv designs were generated where 200 scFv designs produced binding energies of less than -20 R.E.U with shape complementarity higher than 0.5. We further selected the design with at least one hydrogen bond and one salt bridge with the epitope, thus resulted in a total of 10, 1 and 19 sFv designs for epitope 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The results thus showed that de novo design can be an alternative approach to yield high affinity in silico scFv designs as a starting point for antibody or specific binder discovery processes.
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.
Toxocariasis is a human infection primarily caused by larvae of Toxocara canis from dogs, and also by T. cati from cats. Children have a more significant risk of acquiring the infection due to their closer contact with pets, and greater chances of ingesting soil. Diagnosis of toxocariasis is based on clinical, epidemiological, and serological data. Indirect IgG ELISA is a widely used serodiagnostic method for toxocariasis, with native T. canis TES most commonly used as the antigen. Western blots, using the same antigen, can be used to confirm positive ELISA findings to reduce false-positive results. Improvements in Toxocara serodiagnosis include the use of recombinant TES antigens, simpler and more rapid assay formats, and IgG4 subclass detection. Also, incorporation of recombinant T. cati TES protein increases the diagnostic sensitivity. Development of antigen detection tests using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies, nanobodies, or aptamers can complement the antibody detection assays, and enhance the effectiveness of the serodiagnosis.
A rapid antibody detection test is very useful for the detection of lymphatic filariasis, especially for certification and surveillance of post-mass drug administration. panLF Rapid kit is suitable for this purpose since it can detect all species of lymphatic filaria. It is based on the detection of anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies that react with recombinant B. malayi antigens, BmR1 and BmSXP. There is an increase demand for the test due to its attributes of being rapid, sensitive and specific results, as well as its field-applicability. The main aim of this paper is to obtain high recovery and purity of recombinant antigen BmSXP via a modified method of immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). The highest product yield of 11.82 mg/g dry cell weight (DCW) was obtained when IMAC was performed using the optimized protocol of 10 mM imidazole concentration in lysis buffer, 30 mM imidazole concentration in wash buffer, and 10 column volume wash buffer containing 300 mM salt concentration. This gave a 54% protein recovery improvement over the manufacturer's protocol which recorded a product yield of only 7.68 mg/g DCW. The recovered BmSXP recombinant antigen showed good western blot reactivity, high sensitivity (31/32, 97%) and specificity (32/32, 100%) in ELISA, thus attesting to its good purity and quality.
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.
Dirofilaria immitis is a parasitic nematode that survives in the circulatory system of suitable hosts for many years, causing the most severe thromboembolisms when simultaneous death of adult worms occurs. The two main mechanisms responsible for thrombus formation in mammals are the activation and aggregation of platelets and the generation of fibrin through the coagulation cascade. The aim of this work was to study the anticoagulant potential of excretory/secretory antigens from D. immitis adult worms (DiES) on the coagulation cascade of the host. Anticoagulant and inhibition assays respectively showed that DiES partially alter the coagulation cascade of the host and reduce the activity of the coagulation factor Xa, a key enzyme in the coagulation process. In addition, a D. immitis protein was identified by its similarity to the homologous serpin 6 from Brugia malayi as a possible candidate to form an inhibitory complex with FXa by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. These results indicate that D. immitis could use the anticoagulant properties of its excretory/secretory antigens to control the formation of blood clots in its immediate intravascular habitat as a survival mechanism.
Laboratory diagnosis of toxocariasis is still a challenge especially in developing endemic countries with polyparasitism. In this study, three Toxocara canis recombinant antigens, rTES-26, rTES-30, and rTES-120, were expressed and used to prepare lateral flow immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) dipsticks. The concordance of the results of the rapid test (comprising three dipsticks) with a commercial IgG-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (Cypress Diagnostics, Belgium) was compared against the concordance of two other commercial IgG-ELISA kits (Bordier, Switzerland and NovaTec, Germany) with the Cypress kit. Using Toxocara-positive samples, the concordance of the dipstick dotted with rTES-26, rTES-30, and rTES-120 was 41.4% (12/29), 51.7% (15/29), and 72.4% (21/29), respectively. When positivity with any dipstick was considered as an overall positive rapid test result, the concordance with the Cypress kit was 93% (27/29). Meanwhile, when compared with the results of the Cypress kit, the concordance of IgG-ELISA from NovaTec and Bordier was 100% (29/29) and 89.7% (26/29), respectively. Specific IgG4 has been recognized as a marker of active infection for several helminthic diseases; therefore, the two non-concordant results of the rapid test when compared with the NovaTec IgG-ELISA kit may be from samples of people with non-active infection. All the three dipsticks showed 100% (50/50) concordance with the Cypress kit when tested with serum from individuals who were healthy and with other infections. In conclusion, the lateral flow rapid test is potentially a good, fast, and easy test for toxocariasis. Next, further validation studies and development of a test with the three antigens in one dipstick will be performed.
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.
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.
Human gnathostomiasis is an emerging food-borne parasitic disease caused by nematodes of the genus Gnathostoma. Currently, serological tests are commonly applied to support clinical diagnosis. In the present study, a simple and rapid filtration-based test, dot immune-gold filtration assay (DIGFA) was developed using a partially purified antigen of Gnathostoma third-stage larvae (L3). A total of 180 serum samples were tested to evaluate the diagnostic potential of DIGFA for gnathostomiasis. The diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were 96.7% (29/30) and 100% (25/25), respectively. The cross-reactivity with sera from other helminthiasis patients ranged from 0 to 4%, with an average of 1.6% (2/125). DIGFA using a partially purified L3 antigen was not only simple and rapid, but also more accurate than standard assays for the diagnosis of human gnathostomiasis. DIGFA may represent a promising tool for application in laboratories or in the field, without requiring any instrumentation.
Currently, the laboratory diagnosis of toxocariasis, caused by Toxocara canis or T. cati, mainly relies on serological tests. Unfortunately, however, the specificities of most of the commercial tests that are available for the serodiagnosis of this disease are not very high and this may cause problems, especially in tropical countries where co-infections with other helminths are common. In an effort to develop a serological assay with improved specificity for the detection of Toxocara infection, an IgG(4)-ELISA based on a recombinant version (rTES-30USM) of the 30-kDa Toxocara excretory-secretory antigen (TES-30) has recently been developed. To produce the antigen, the TES-30 gene was cloned via assembly PCR, subcloned into a His-tagged prokaryotic expression vector, and purified by affinity chromatography using Ni(2+)-nitrilotriacetic-acid (Ni-NTA) resin. The performance of the ELISA based on the recombinant antigen was then compared with that of commercial kit, based on an IgG-ELISA, for the serodiagnosis of toxocariasis (Toxocara IgG-ELISA; Cypress Diagnostics, Langdorp, Belgium). Both assays were used to test 338 serum samples, including 26 samples from probable cases of toxocariasis. Assuming that all the probable cases were true cases, the assay based on rTES-30USM demonstrated a sensitivity of 92.3% (24/26) and a specificity of 89.6% (103/115) whereas the commercial kit exhibited a sensitivity of 100% (26/26) but a specificity of only 55.7% (64/115). The high sensitivity and specificity exhibited by the new IgG(4)-ELISA should make the assay a good choice for use in tropical countries and any other area where potentially cross-reactive helminthic infections are common.
A gene encoding the larval excretory-secretory antigen TES-120 of the dog ascarid worm Toxocara canis was cloned into the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Specificity of the recombinant TES-120 antigen produced by the yeast was investigated. Forty-five human serum samples from patients infected with different()parasitic organisms, including 8 cases of toxocariasis, were tested against the recombinant antigen in immunoblot assays. Results from the assays showed that the recombinant TES-120 antigen reacted with sera from toxocariasis patients only. This highly specific recombinant TES-120 antigen can potentially be used for the development of an inexpensive serodiagnostic assay for human toxocariasis.
Serodiagnosis is an essential component of the laboratory diagnosis of Strongyloides infection and is usually performed using an indirect IgG antibody test. A direct antigen detection method can complement the IgG assay, particularly for detecting early infection and post-treatment follow-up. In the present study, a recombinant scFv monoclonal antibody against NIE recombinant protein (rMAb23) that we had previously produced was used to develop a Strongyloides antigen detection ELISA (SsAg-ELISA). The assay is based on detecting immune complexes of circulating NIE antigens bound to Strongyloides-specific IgG antibodies. The optimized ELISA parameters were 10 µg/mL of rMAb23 coated on microtitre plate wells, 2% skim milk as blocking reagent, 1:100 serum dilution, and 1:1000 goat anti-human IgG F(ab')2 conjugated to horseradish peroxidase. Four groups of serum samples were used, i.e., Strongyloides-positive serum samples categorized into Groups IA and IB; the former were from probable chronic infections and the latter from probable early/acute infections. Strongyloides-negative samples comprising Groups II (healthy samples) and III (other infections); the latter were from eleven different types of other parasitic infections. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve showed an area under the curve (AUC) of 1.00, cut-off optical density (OD405) of 0.5002, and 100% diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. The results of the commercial IgG-ELISA and SsAg-ELISA from Group IA were found to be moderately correlated (r = 0.416; p
Western blot analysis of infective larvae (L3) antigen of Brugia malayi were performed on 200 sera from six groups of individuals: 36 samples from B. malayi microfilaremic individuals; 10 samples from individuals with elephantiasis; 50 and 20 samples from amicrofilaremic individuals in a B. malayi endemic area with no anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies (towards microfilaria and adult worm antigens) and samples with high titres of the anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies respectively; 50 samples from non-endemic normals and 34 samples from geohelminth-infected individuals. After protein transfer, PVDF membrane strips were successively incubated with blocking solution, human sera, monoclonal anti-human IgG4 antibody-HRP and developed with luminol chemiluminescence substrate. 28/36 (78%), 1/10 (10%) and 16/20(80%) of sera from individuals with microfilariae, elephantiasis and amicrofilaremic individuals with high titers of anti-filarial IgG4 antibodies respectively recognized L3 antigenic epitopes; the dominant and consistent antigenic bands were of approximately MW 43 kDa, 14 kDa, 15 kDa and 59 kDa. The rest of the sera were unreactive. This study showed that microfilaremics may or may not mount a notable antibody response to somatic L3 antigens, thus lending evidence that antibody response to this antigen is not protective against establishment of Brugia malayi infection.
Accurate diagnosis of human filarial infections still remains a problem for clinicians and co-ordinators of filariasis control programs. Diagnosis of filariasis is based on parasitological, histopathological, clinical and immunological approaches. No significant advances have been made for the first three approaches although some refinements in their use and interpretation of results have occurred. For the immunological approach, intradermal tests and antibody detection assays using crude parasite extracts generally lack specificity and/or sensitivity to discriminate between past and present filarial infections in humans. Antigen detection assays would therefore provide a more accurate indication of active filarial infections. Several monoclonal antibodies to various stages of lymphatic filarial parasites have been developed and appear potentially useful for filarial antigen detection.
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%.
Two out of six monoclonals (McAbs) produced against subperiodic Brugia malayi infective larva (L3) antigens impaired B. malayi L3 motility independently of human buffy coat cells. Scanning electron microscopy studies showed damage to L3 surface and loss of regular cuticular annulations. The two McAbs (BML 1a and BM1 8b) did not affect B. malayi microfilaria (mf). They were IFAT-positive with B. malayi adult and L3 antigens; other McAbs which did not affect mf or L3 motility were IFAT-negative. All six McAbs did not promote cellular adherence of normal human buffy coat cells to mf or L3.
There are essentially no reports on the use of modern biotechnological methods on the study of cestode parasites in the Philippines, Indonesia or Malaysia. The only recent reports of cestode studies in these countries have been on reports of new species in animals and on prevalence rates of cestode parasites in humans; Taenia solium and cysticercosis, Taenia saginata and Hymenolepis nana, etc. Reports on the use of biotechnology has emanated from outside the area on cestodes of humans and animals, and some of these methods could be used to study cestodes in this part of the world.