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The success of the Guinea Worm (GW) Eradication Program over the past three decades has been tempered by the persistence of GW disease in a few African nations and the potential for a future resurgence in cases. Domestic dogs are now a major concern as a disease reservoir as large numbers of cases of canine GW disease are now reported each year, mainly along the Chari River in Chad. As a first step toward the development of a serologic assay for dogs, archived human plasma samples from dracunculiasis-positive donors from Togo were used to select adult female GW antigens for peptide sequencing and cloning. Eight protein sequences of interest were expressed as recombinant glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins, and the most promising proteins were coupled to carboxylated microspheres for use in multiplex assays. A thioredoxin-like protein (TRXL1) and a domain of unknown function (DUF148) were assessed for total IgG and IgG4 reactivities using a panel of specimens from GW cases, uninfected donors, and individuals infected with various nematode worms, including Onchocerca volvulus. Both the DUF148-GST and the TRXL1-GST assays cross-reacted with O. volvulus sera, but the latter assay was always the more specific. The IgG4 and total IgG TRXL1-GST assays both had sensitivities > 87% and specificities > 90%. Maximum specificity (> 96%) was obtained with the total IgG assay when reactivity to both antigens was used to define a positive case. Given the good performance of the human assay, we are now working to modify the assay for dog assessments.


Jeffrey W Priest, Olga Stuchlik, Matthew Reed, Peter Soboslay, Vitaliano Cama, Sharon L Roy. Development of a Multiplex Bead Assay for the Detection of IgG Antibody Responses to Guinea Worm. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2020 Dec;103(6):2294-2304

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PMID: 32901602

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