Amoebiasis, an enteric protozoan disease caused by Entamoeba histolytica, is a public health problem in many developing countries, causing up to 100,000 fatal cases annually. Detection of the pathogenic E. histolytica and its differentiation from the non-pathogenic Entamoeba spp. play a crucial role in the clinical management of patients. Laboratory diagnosis of intestinal amoebiasis in developing countries still relies on labour-intensive and insensitive methods involving staining of stool sample and microscopy. Newer and more sensitive methods include a variety of antigen detection ELISAs and rapid tests; however, their diagnostic sensitivity and specificity seem to vary between studies, and some tests do not distinguish among the Entamoeba species. Molecular detection techniques are highly sensitive and specific and isothermal amplification approaches may be developed into field-applicable tests; however, cost is still a barrier for their use as a routine laboratory test method in most endemic areas. Laboratory diagnosis of extraintestinal amoebiasis faces challenges of lack of definitive detection of current infection and commercially available point-of-care tests. For both types of amoebiasis, there is still a need for highly sensitive and specific tests that are rapid and cost-effective for use in developing countries where the disease is prevalent. In recent years, new molecules of diagnostic value are being discovered and new tests developed. The advances in 'omics' technologies are enabling discoveries of new biomarkers that may help distinguish between different infection stages.
Optical vorticesare generated and controlled to form trapping tools in the same way as optical tweezers. By using the intense optical vortices generated within the PANDA ring resonator, the required atoms/molecules can be trapped and moved (transported) dynamically within the wavelength router or network. The advantage of the proposed system is that a transmitter and receiver can be formed within the same system, which is available for atoms/molecules storage and transportation based on methods that have been proposed to deliver drugs into cells for specific diagnosis.
Polymerase chain reaction-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (PCR-ELISA) is an immunodetection method that can quantify PCR product directly after immobilization of biotinylated DNA on a microplate. This method, which detects nucleic acid instead of protein, is a much more sensitive method compared to conventional PCR method, with shorter analytical time and lower detection limit. Its high specificity and sensitivity, together with its semiquantitative ability, give it a huge potential to serve as a powerful detection tool in various industries such as medical, veterinary, and agricultural industries. With the recent advances in PCR-ELISA, it is envisaged that the assay is more widely recognized for its fast and sensitive detection limit which could improve overall diagnostic time and quality.
Timely and accurate dengue diagnosis is important for differential diagnosis and immediate implementation of appropriate disease control measures. In this study, we compared the usefulness and applicability of NS1 RDT (NS1 Ag Strip) and qRT-PCR tests in complementing the IgM ELISA for dengue diagnosis on single serum specimen (n = 375). The NS1 Ag Strip and qRT-PCR showed a fair concordance (κ = 0.207, p = 0.001). While the NS1 Ag Strip showed higher positivity than qRT-PCR for acute (97.8% vs. 84.8%) and post-acute samples (94.8% vs. 71.8%) of primary infection, qRT-PCR showed higher positivity for acute (58.1% vs. 48.4%) and post-acute (50.0% vs.41.4%) samples in secondary infection. IgM ELISA showed higher positivity in samples from secondary dengue (74.2-94.8%) than in those from primary dengue (21.7-64.1%). More primary dengue samples showed positive with combined NS1 Ag Strip/IgM ELISA (99.0% vs. 92.8%) whereas more secondary samples showed positive with combined qRT-PCR/IgM ELISA (99.4% vs. 96.2%). Combined NS1 Ag Strip/IgM ELISA is a suitable combination tests for timely and accurate dengue diagnosis on single serum specimen. If complemented with qRT-PCR, combined NS1 Ag Strip/IgM ELISA would improve detection of secondary dengue samples.
The present study aims to develop a system which consists of four pairs of primers that specifically detects Salmonella spp., Salmonella serovar Typhi and Salmonella serovar Paratyphi A with an internal amplification control. The system, when applied in Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) under specific conditions, reaction mixture and cycling temperatures produced four bands; 784 bp, 496 bp, 332 bp and 187 bp. The DNA band 784 bp is present in all Salmonella spp., while the bands of 496 bp and 332 bp are only present in S. Paratyphi A and S. Typhi, respectively. An internal amplification control as indicated by the 187 bp shows the system is working in optimum condition in all the tests. This multiplex PCR was evaluated on 241 bacterial cultures and 691 naturally contaminated samples. Overall, this multiplex PCR detection system provides a single step for simultaneous detection of DNAs of Salmonella spp., S. Typhi and S. Paratyphi A.
Despite the importance of the cattle industry in Malaysia, there are very few studies of the diversity and public health significance of bovine cryptosporidiosis in this country. In the present study, we used a PCR-based approach to detect and genetically characterize Cryptosporidium DNA in faecal samples from a cohort of 215 asymptomatic cattle (of different ages) from six farms from five states of Peninsular Malaysia. Cattle on four of the six farms were test-positive for Cryptosporidium, with an overall prevalence of 3.2%. Cryptosporidium bovis and Cryptosporidium ryanae were detected in two (0.9%) and five (2.3%) samples tested; this low prevalence likely relates to the age of the cattle tested, as most (73%) of the samples tested originated from cattle that were ≥2 years of age. Future studies should investigate the zoonotic potential of Cryptosporidium in pre-weaned and weaned calves in rural communities of Malaysia.
In this study, we developed a recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay for specific diagnosis of Plasmodium knowlesi. Genomic DNA was extracted from whole blood samples using a commercial kit. With incubation at 37°C, the samples were successfully amplified within 20 minutes. The end product of RPA was further examined by loading onto agarose gel and a specific band was observed with a size of 128 bp. The RPA assay exhibited high sensitivity with limits of detection down to one copy of the plasmid. From the specificity experiments, it was demonstrated that all P. knowlesi samples (N = 45) were positive while other Plasmodium spp. (N = 42) and negative samples (N = 6) were negative. Therefore, the RPA assay is a highly promising approach with the potential to be used in resource-limited settings. This assay can be further optimized for bedside and on field application.
Crossover or conversion between the homologous regions of glycophorin A (GYPA) and glycophorin B (GYPB) gives rise to several different hybrid glycophorin genes encoding a number of different glycophorin variant phenotypes which bear low prevalence antigens in the MNS blood group system. GP.Mur is the main glycophorin variant phenotype which causes hemolytic transfusion reaction (HTR) and hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (HDFN) in East and Southeast Asians. The detection of glycophorin variant phenotypes using serological methods is limited to phenotyping reagents that are not commercially available. Moreover, the red blood cells used for antibody identification are usually of the GP.Mur phenotype. The current Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based methods and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) are available alternatives to phenotyping that allow for the specific detection of glycophorin variant phenotypes. This review highlights the molecular detection method for glycophorins A and B variant phenotypes and their clinical relevance.
Entamoeba histolytica infection is the third-greatest parasitic disease responsible for death in the world. Wild rats harbouring E. histolytica can be the possible reservoir hosts for human amoebiasis. There were numerous studies on prevalence of intestinal parasites among wild rats in Malaysia but none has reported E. histolytica. Rats were captured from Sentul and Chow Kit areas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The preserved stool samples were used for microscopy examination and molecular analysis. Out of 137 samples collected, 12 were positive for E. histolytica / E. dispar / E. moshkovskii microscopically. Two E. histolytica (1.4%), 1 E. dispar (0.7%) and 6 mixed infections of E. histolytica and E. dispar (4.3%) were detected using PCR. This is the first report of molecular detection of E. histolytica/dispar infection among wild rats in Malaysia. This study provides useful information about the potential risks of zoonotic agents and the importance of developing control measures to prevent zoonotic transmission.
Nucleic acid testing (NAT), as a molecular diagnostic technique, including nucleic acid extraction, amplification and detection, plays a fundamental role in medical diagnosis for timely medical treatment. However, current NAT technologies require relatively high-end instrumentation, skilled personnel, and are time-consuming. These drawbacks mean conventional NAT becomes impractical in many resource-limited disease-endemic settings, leading to an urgent need to develop a fast and portable NAT diagnostic tool. Paper-based devices are typically robust, cost-effective and user-friendly, holding a great potential for NAT at the point of care. In view of the escalating demand for the low cost diagnostic devices, we highlight the beneficial use of paper as a platform for NAT, the current state of its development, and the existing challenges preventing its widespread use. We suggest a strategy involving integrating all three steps of NAT into one single paper-based sample-to-answer diagnostic device for rapid medical diagnostics in the near future.
Every year, millions of people are burdened with malaria. An estimated 429,000 casualties were reported in 2015, with the majority made up of children under five years old. Early and accurate diagnosis of malaria is of paramount importance to ensure appropriate administration of treatment. This minimizes the risk of parasite resistance development, reduces drug wastage and unnecessary adverse reaction to antimalarial drugs. Malaria diagnostic tools have expanded beyond the conventional microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained blood films. Contemporary and innovative techniques have emerged, mainly the rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) and other molecular diagnostic methods such as PCR, qPCR and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). Even microscopic diagnosis has gone through a paradigm shift with the development of new techniques such as the quantitative buffy coat (QBC) method and the Partec rapid malaria test. This review explores the different diagnostic tools available for childhood malaria, each with their characteristic strengths and limitations. These tools play an important role in making an accurate malaria diagnosis to ensure that the use of anti-malaria are rationalized and that presumptive diagnosis would only be a thing of the past.
Malaria remains one of the major killers of humankind and persists to threaten the lives of more than one-third of the world's population. Given that human malaria can now be caused by five species of Plasmodium, i.e., Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodium ovale, and the recently included Plasmodium knowlesi, there is a critical need not only to augment global health efforts in malaria control but also, more importantly, to develop a rapid, accurate, species-sensitive/species-specific, and economically effective diagnostic method for malaria caused by these five species. Therefore, in the present study, a straightforward single-step hexaplex PCR system targeting five human Plasmodium 18S small-subunit rRNAs (ssu rRNAs) was designed, and the system successfully detected all five human malaria parasites. In addition, this system enables the differentiation of single infection as well as mixed infections up to the two-species level. This assay was validated with 50 randomly blinded test and 184 clinical samples suspected to indicate malaria. This hexaplex PCR system is not only an ideal alternative for routine malaria diagnosis in laboratories with conventional PCR machines but also adds value to diagnoses when there is a lack of an experienced microscopist or/and when the parasite morphology is confusing. Indeed, this system will definitely enhance the accuracy and accelerate the speed in the diagnosis of malaria, as well as improve the efficacy of malaria treatment and control, in addition to providing reliable data from epidemiological surveillance studies.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major pathogen responsible for significant numbers of nosocomial and community-acquired infections worldwide. Molecular diagnosis for MRSA nasal carriers is increasingly important for rapid detection and screening of MRSA colonization because the conventional methods are time consuming and labor intensive. However, conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests still require cold-chain storage as well as trained personnel, which makes them unsuitable for rapid high-throughput analysis. The aim of this study was to develop a thermostabilized PCR assay for MRSA in a ready-to-use form that requires no cold chain.
Klebsiella pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae are two common pathogens associated with respiratory tract infections. The identification of these pathogens using conventional molecular diagnostic tests requires trained personnel, cold-chain transportation, and storage-dependance, which does not render them user-friendly. The aim of this study was to develop a thermostabilized, cold-chain-free, one-step multiplex PCR for simultaneous detection of K. pneumoniae and H. influenzae. The multiplex PCR assay was designed to amplify the php gene of K. pneumoniae (202 bp) and p6 gene of H. influenzae (582 bp). In addition, the specific primer to amplify glm gene of Helicobacter pylori (105 bp) was included as an internal amplification control. Subsequently, the designed primers and all PCR reagents were thermostabilized by lyophilization. The stability of the thermostabilized PCR was evaluated using the Q(10) method. The sensitivity and specificity of performances for thermostabilized PCR were evaluated using 127 clinical isolates and were found to be 100% sensitive and specific. The thermostabilized PCR mix was found to be stable for 30 days and the Q10 accelerated stability was found to be 3.02 months. A cold-chain-free, PCR assay for easy, rapid, and simultaneous detection of K. pneumoniae and H. influenzae was successfully developed in this study.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a rod-shaped Gram-negative bacterium which is notably known as a pathogen in humans, animals, and plants. Infections caused by P. aeruginosa especially in hospitalized patients are often life-threatening and rapidly increasing worldwide throughout the years. Recently, multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa has taken a toll on humans' health due to the inefficiency of antimicrobial agents. Therefore, the rapid and advanced diagnostic techniques to accurately detect this bacterium particularly in clinical samples are indeed necessary to ensure timely and effective treatments and to prevent outbreaks. This review aims to discuss most recent of state-of-the-art molecular diagnostic techniques enabling fast and accurate detection and identification of P. aeruginosa based on well-developed genotyping techniques, e.g., polymerase chain reaction, pulse-field gel electrophoresis, and next generation sequencing. The advantages and limitations of each of the methods are also reviewed.
Molecular approaches have been investigated to overcome difficulties in identification and differentiation of Brucella spp. using conventional phenotypic methods. In this study, high-resolution melt (HRM) analysis was used for rapid identification and differentiation of members of Brucella genus. A total of 41 Brucella spp. isolates from human brucellosis were subjected to HRM analysis using 4 sets of primers, which identified 40 isolates as Brucella melitensis and 1 as Brucella canis. The technique utilized low DNA concentration and was highly reproducible. The assay is shown to be a useful diagnostic tool, which can rapidly differentiate Brucella up to species level.
Shigellosis is a foodborne illness caused by the genus Shigella and is an important global health issue. The development of effective techniques for rapid detection of this pathogen is essential for breaking the chain of transmission. Therefore, we have developed a novel loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay targeting the invasion plasmid antigen H (ipaH) gene to rapidly detect Shigella species. This assay could be performed in 90 min at an optimal temperature of 64ºC, with endpoint results visualized directly. Notably, the method was found to be more sensitive than conventional PCR. Indeed, the detection limit for the LAMP assay on pure bacterial cultures was 5.9 x 10(5) CFU/ml, while PCR displayed a limit of 5.9 x 10(7) CFU/ml. In spiked lettuce samples, the sensitivity of the LAMP assay was 3.6 x 10(4) CFU/g, whereas PCR was 3.6 x 10(5) CFU/g. Overall, the assay accurately identified 32 Shigella spp. with one enteroinvasive Escherichia coli displaying positive reaction while the remaining 32 non-Shigella strains tested were negative.
A real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was developed for detection and discrimination of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (H37Rv and H37Ra) and M. bovis bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) from mycobacterial other than tuberculosis (MOTT). It was based on the melting curve (Tm) analysis of the gyrB gene using SYBR(®) Green I detection dye and the LightCycler 1.5 system. The optimal conditions for the assay were 0.25 μmol/L of primers with 3.1 mmol/L of MgCl(2) and 45 cycles of amplification. For M. tuberculosis (H37Rv and H37Ra) and M. bovis BCG of the MTBC, we detected the crossing points (Cp) at cycles of 16.96 ± 0.07, 18.02 ± 0.14, and 18.62 ± 0.09, respectively, while the Tm values were 90.19 ± 0.06 °C, 90.27 ± 0.09 °C, and 89.81 ± 0.04 °C, respectively. The assay was sensitive and rapid with a detection limit of 10 pg of the DNA template within 35 min. In this study, the Tm analysis of the qPCR assay was applied for the detection and discrimination of MTBC from MOTT.
Acinetobacter baumannii, genomic species 3 and 13TU are being increasingly reported as the most important Acinetobacter species that cause infections in hospitalized patients. These Acinetobacter species are grouped in the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus- Acinetobacter baumannii (Acb) complex. Differentiation of the species in the Acb-complex is limited by phenotypic methods. Therefore, in this study, amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) was applied to confirm the identity A. baumannii strains as well as to differentiate between the subspecies. One hundred and eighty-five strains from Intensive Care Unit, Universiti Malaya Medical Center (UMMC) were successfully identified as A. baumannii by ARDRA. Acinetobacter genomic species 13TU and 15TU were identified in 3 and 1 strains, respectively. ARDRA provides an accurate, rapid and definitive approach towards the identification of the species level in the genus Acinetobacter. This paper reports the first application ARDRA in genospecies identification of Acinetobacter in Malaysia.
A simple and reliable tool for the early diagnosis of leptospirosis is urgently needed. We report the development of a lyophilized reagent-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting lipL32 gene, which is present only in pathogenic leptospires. To determine the effectiveness of the newly developed assay in the early diagnosis of leptospirosis, the sensitivity and specificity was evaluated. In simulated clinical samples, the assay was able to detect 10² and 10³ leptospires/ml in spiked urine and blood samples, respectively. In experimentally infected animals, leptospiral DNA could be detected in blood and lung samples as early as Day 1 post infection. This assay was also shown to be stable and remained sensitive for up to five months at ambient temperature. Hence, this lyophilized reagent-based PCR assay with high specificity, sensitivity and stability would provide a simple, rapid and reliable method in diagnosing acute leptospirosis, especially in the field of veterinary medicine.