Global Experts Meeting on Infectious Diseases
Vrije Universiteit Brussel,Belgium
Title: Development of a nanobody-based lateral flow assay for the detection and diagnosis of Trypanosomosis
Biography: Magez Stefan
Animal African trypanosomosis, is caused by parasites of the Trypanosoma genus, mainly T. vivax and T. congolense. Active case-finding and the identification of infected animals prior to initiation of drug treatment requires the availability of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests. Recently, we describe the development of two heterologous sandwich assay formats (ELISA and LFA) for T. congolense detection using of Nanobodies (Nbs). The immunization of an alpaca with a secretome mix from two T. congolense strains resulted in the identification of a Nb pair (Nb44/Nb42) that specifically targets the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase. The Nb44/Nb42 ELISA and LFA can be employed to detect parasitaemia in plasma samples from experimentally infected mice and cattle and they can serve as ’test-of-cure’ tools. These findings present the development and evaluation of the first Nb-based antigen detection LFA to identify active T. congolense infections. In a next step, we are developing a similar diagnostic tool for the detection of T. evansi. This parasite has moved out of Africa and is present in large areas of Asia and South America and threatens livestock farming in the Southern regions of Europe. Hence the goal is to develop a lateral flow device that can accurately diagnose T. evansi trypanosomiasis and can in parallel be used as a test-of-cure when treatment has been applied to target animals. Taken that several reports have now indicated that T. evansi can also cause a direct threat to human health, tackling this trypanosome infection will become a serious necessity in the future.