Sara Roose - New insights into the use of serology as a diagnostic tool for Ascaris infections in humans

Réalisation : 29 novembre 2021 Mise en ligne : 29 novembre 2021
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To monitor and evaluate mass drug administration (MDA) programs for soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) the diagnostic standard is the microscopic detection of STH specific eggs in stool smears (Kato- Katz). However, this technique has major drawbacks resulting in a pressing need for improved diagnostic tools. By using an Ascaris-porcine infection model our group has shown that detecting anti- parasite antibodies hold promise as an alternative diagnostic and is currently evaluating its potential application in humans. A first cross-sectional survey in Ethiopia showed that anti-Ascaris seroprevalence steadily increased with age providing evidence that both children and adults are continuously exposed to Ascaris. Moreover, the use of serology in the monitoring and evaluation of MDA programs was studied; two surveys in Ethiopia and Indonesia showed that seroprevalence decreased rapidly following MDA. Recently, a longitudinal study in 4-6 years old children showed exposure from an early age onwards and a positive correlation between antibody levels and positive stool samples later on in life. To evaluate the use of serology to inform program decision making, a survey embedded in the Ethiopian national STH control program showed a correlation between prevalence based on Kato-Katz and antibody-ELISA at district level. In addition to this, research is currently also focussed on the identification of the immunogenic antigens in the Ascaris larval protein extract used in the ELISA-assays.


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