An evaluation of Wb123 antibody elisa in individuals treated with ivermectin and albendazole, and implementation challenges in Africa.
ABSTRACT: The development of antibody testing for the diagnosis of lymphatic filariasis (LF) is intended to enhance the monitoring and evaluation activities of the Global Program for the Elimination of LF. This is due to the fact that antibody tests are expected to be the most sensitive at detecting exposure to LF compared to antigen that takes longer to develop. To this end a new antibody-based enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to Wuchereria bancrofti antigen Wb123 has been developed and further designed into a point of care rapid diagnostic test, under evaluation. In pre-treatment surveys, individuals were tested for antigen using the immuno-chromatographic test (ICT) card, and night blood microfilariae, after which all positives were treated using Ivermectin and Albendazole. The Wb123 ELISA was tested in antigen positive individuals, three months after they were treated. Samples were also tested for ICT and night blood microfilariae. The results revealed a reduction in microfilariae and ICT prevalence after treatment. Antigen and antibody prevalence increased with age. However, there was no correlation with the antibody responses observed. The mean WB123 antibody titers were higher among ICT positives, but not significantly different from ICT negative persons. While the Wb123 is targeted for use in untreated populations, further evaluations and guidelines will be required to define its use in populations that have undergone treatment for the control of LF.
Project description:Since the mid-2000s, the immunochromatographic card test (ICT), a point-of-care test for detecting Wuchereria bancrofti circulating filarial antigens (CFAs), has been the backbone for mapping and monitoring lymphatic filariasis (LF) worldwide. Recently, there have been instances in which CFA positivity has been associated with Loa loa microfilaremia. Here, we examined the association, at both the community and individual levels, between L. loa and CFA using additional diagnostic tools (quantitative polymerase chain reaction [qPCR], Og4C3 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and IgG4 antibodies to Wb123 assays) to demonstrate the relationship between L. loa microfilaremia and ICT positivity. In May 2013, peripheral blood was collected during the day from 1,812 individuals living in southern Cameroon. ICT tests were done on the spot, and positive individuals were resampled at night. Results of qPCR and Wb123 assays concurred proving the absence of W. bancrofti infection. Og4C3 assays indicate a quantitative relationship between the level of L. loa microfilaremia and that of CFA. This was confirmed by epidemiological analyses, which reveal a strong association between L. loa microfilaremia and ICT positivity, with 50% of ICT reacting to L. loa when its microfilarial density exceeds 30,000 microfilariae/mL. At the community level, the proportion of positive ICT would exceed 2% when the prevalence of L. loa microfilaremia in the total population is above 20%. This has significant implications in terms of mapping and control of LF caused by W. bancrofti in Loa-endemic areas. Cross-reactivity of ICT with L. loa has to be considered in the context of both individual and community diagnostics.
Project description:Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, is a parasitic disease. More than 99 percent of all cases occur in Africa. Bioko Island (Equatorial Guinea) is the only island endemic for onchocerciasis in the world. Since 2005, when vector Simulium yahense was eliminated, there have not been any reported cases of infection. This study aimed to demonstrate that updated WHO criteria for stopping mass drug administration (MDA) have been met.A cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2016 to January 2017. Participants were 5- to 9-year-old school children. Onchocerciasis/lymphatic Filariasis (LF, only in endemic districts) rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) were performed. Blood spots were collected from RDT positive children and 10 percent of the RDT negatives to determine Ov16 and Wb123 IgG4 antibodies through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Skin snips were collected from RDT positives. Filarial detection was performed by PCR in positives and indeterminate sera. Black fly collection was carried out in traditional breeding sites. A total of 7,052 children, ranging from 5 to 9 years of age, were included in the study. Four children (0.06%) were Ov16 IgG4 RDT positives, but negative by ELISA Ov16, while 6 RDT negative children tested positive by ELISA. A total of 1,230 children from the Riaba and Baney districts were tested for LF. One child was Wb123 RDT positive (0.08%), but ELISA negative, while 3 RDT negative children were positive by Wb123 ELISA. All positive samples were negative by PCR for onchocerciasis and LF (in blood spot and skin snip). All fly collections and larval prospections in the traditional catching and prospection sites were negative.WHO criteria have been met, therefore MDA in Bioko Island can be stopped. Three years of post-treatment surveillance should be implemented to identify any new occurrences of exposure or infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Prevalence of lymphatic filariasis (LF) antigen in American Samoa was 16.5% in 1999. Seven rounds of mass drug administration (MDA) programmes between 2000 and 2006 reduced antigen prevalence to 2.3%. The most efficient methods of surveillance after MDA are not clear, but testing specific at-risk groups such as adults may provide earlier warning of resurgence. The role of migration from LF endemic countries in maintaining transmission also needs investigation. Few studies have investigated knowledge about LF and how that relates to infection risk. This study aims to investigate associations between socio-demographics, population mobility, disease knowledge and LF infection risk. METHODS:In 2014, we surveyed 670 adults aged 16-68 years (62% female) at two worksites in American Samoa. Sera were tested for LF antigen and antibodies (Bm14 and Wb123) by rapid test and/or ELISA. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess association between seromarkers and demographic factors, household socioeconomic status (SES), residence, travel history, and knowledge of LF. RESULTS:Overall, 1.8% of participants were positive for antigen, 11.8% for Bm14, 11.3% for Wb123 and 17.3% for at least one antibody. Recent travel outside American Samoa was not associated with positivity for any seromarker. Men had higher seroprevalence than women for all outcomes (any antibody: adjusted odds ratio (aOR)?=?3.49 (95% CI: 2.21-5.49). Those aged over 35 years (compared to 15-24 years) had higher prevalence of Bm14 antibody (aOR?=?3.75, 3.76 and 4.17 for ages 35-44, 45-54 and ??55 years, respectively, P?<?0.05). Lower SES was associated with seropositivity (antigen: aOR?=?2.89, 95% CI: 1.09-7.69; either antibody: aOR?=?1.51, 95% CI: 1.12-2.05). Those who knew that mosquitoes transmitted LF had lower Wb123 antibody prevalence (aOR?=?0.55, 95% CI: 0.32-0.95). CONCLUSIONS:Opportunistic sampling of adults at worksites provided an efficient and representative way to assess prevalence and risk factors for LF in American Samoa and in hindsight, foreshadowed the resurgence of transmission. Risk of LF infection, detected by one or more serological markers, was not related to recent travel history, but was strongly associated with male gender, older age, lower SES, and lack of knowledge about mosquito transmission. These results could guide future efforts to increase MDA participation.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mapping of lymphatic filariasis (LF) caused by Wuchereria bancrofti largely relies on the detection of circulating antigen using ICT cards. Several studies have recently shown that this test can be cross-reactive with sera of subjects heavily infected with Loa loa and thus mapping results in loiasis endemic areas may be inaccurate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:In order to develop an LF mapping strategy for areas with high loiasis prevalence, we collected day blood samples from 5,001 subjects residing in 50 villages that make up 6 health districts throughout Cameroon. Antigen testing using Filarial Test Strip (FTS, a novel platform that uses the same reagents as ICT) revealed an overall positivity rate of 1.1% and L. loa microfilaria (Mf) rates of up to 46%. Among the subjects with 0 to 8,000 Mf/ml in day blood, only 0.4% were FTS positive, while 22.2% of subjects with >8,000 Mf/ml were FTS positive. A Mf density of >8,200 Mf/ml was determined as the cut point at which positive FTS results should be excluded from the analysis. No FTS positive samples were also positive for W. bancrofti antibodies as measured by two different point of care tests that use the Wb123 antigen not found in L. loa. Night blood examination of the FTS positive subjects showed a high prevalence of L. loa Mf with densities up to 12,710 Mf/ml. No W. bancrofti Mf were identified, as confirmed by qPCR. Our results show that high loads of L. loa Mf in day blood are a reliable indicator of FTS positivity, and Wb123 rapid test proved to be relatively specific. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our study provides a simple day blood-based algorithm for LF mapping in loiasis areas. The results indicate that many districts that were formerly classified as endemic for LF in Cameroon are non-endemic and do not require mass drug administration for elimination of LF.
Project description:In Africa, onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) are co-endemic in many areas. Current efforts to eliminate both diseases are through ivermectin-based mass drug administration (MDA). Years of ivermectin distribution for onchocerciasis may have interrupted LF transmission in certain areas. The Kédougou region, Senegal, is co-endemic for LF and onchocerciasis. Though MDA for onchocerciasis started in 1988, in 2014 albendazole had not yet been added for LF. The objective of this study was to assess in an integrated manner the LF and onchocerciasis status in the three districts of the Kédougou region after ?10 years of ivermectin-based MDA. The study employed an African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) onchocerciasis-related methodology. In the three districts, 14 villages close to three rivers that have Simulium damnosum breeding sites were surveyed. Convenience sampling of residents ?5 years old was performed. Assessment for LF antigenemia by immunochromatographic testing (ICT) was added to skin snip microscopy for onchocerciasis. Participants were also tested for antibodies against Wb123 (LF) and Ov16 (onchocerciasis) antigens. In two districts, no participants were ICT or skin snip positive. In the third district, 3.5% were ICT positive and 0.7% were skin snip positive. In all the three districts, Wb123 prevalence was 0.6%. Overall, Ov16 prevalence was 6.9%. Ov16 prevalence among children 5-9 years old in the study was 2.5%. LF antigenemia prevalence was still above treatment threshold in one district despite ?10 years of ivermectin-based MDA. The presence of Ov16 positive children suggested recent transmission of Onchocerca volvulus. This study showed the feasibility of integrated evaluation of onchocerciasis and LF but development of integrated robust methods for assessing transmission of both LF and onchocerciasis are needed to determine where MDA can be stopped safely in co-endemic areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The control of lymphatic filariasis (LF) caused by Wuchereria bancrofti in the Central African Region has been hampered by the presence of Loa loa due to severe adverse events that arise in the treatment with ivermectin. The immunochromatographic test (ICT) cards used for mapping LF demonstrated cross-reactivity with L. loa and posed the problem of delineating the LF map. To verify LF endemicity in forest areas of Cameroon where mass drug administration (MDA) has not been ongoing, we used the recently developed strategy that combined serology, microscopy and molecular techniques. METHODS:This study was carried out in 124 communities in 31 health districts (HDs) where L. loa is present. At least 125 persons per site were screened. Diurnal blood samples were investigated for circulating filarial antigen (CFA) by FTS and for L. loa microfilariae (mf) using TBF. FTS positive individuals were further subjected to night blood collection for detecting W. bancrofti. qPCR was used to detect DNA of the parasites. RESULTS:Overall, 14,446 individuals took part in this study, 233 participants tested positive with FTS in 29 HDs, with positivity rates ranging from 0.0 to 8.2%. No W. bancrofti mf was found in the night blood of any individuals but L. loa mf were found in both day and night blood of participants who were FTS positive. Also, qPCR revealed that no W. bancrofti but L.loa DNA was found with dry bloodspot. Positive FTS results were strongly associated with high L. loa mf load. Similarly, a strong positive association was observed between FTS positivity and L loa prevalence. CONCLUSIONS:Using a combination of parasitological and molecular tools, we were unable to find evidence of W. bancrofti presence in the 31 HDs, but L. loa instead. Therefore, LF is not endemic and LF MDA is not required in these districts.
Project description:Successful mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns have brought several countries near the point of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) elimination. A diagnostic tool is needed to determine when the prevalence levels have decreased to a point that MDA campaigns can be discontinued without the threat of recrudescence. A six-country study was conducted assessing the performance of seven diagnostic tests, including tests for microfilariae (blood smear, PCR), parasite antigen (ICT, Og4C3) and antifilarial antibody (Bm14, PanLF, Urine SXP). One community survey and one school survey were performed in each country. A total of 8,513 people from the six countries participated in the study, 6,443 through community surveys and 2,070 through school surveys. Specimens from these participants were used to conduct 49,585 diagnostic tests. Each test was seen to have both positive and negative attributes, but overall, the ICT test was found to be 76% sensitive at detecting microfilaremia and 93% specific at identifying individuals negative for both microfilariae and antifilarial antibody; the Og4C3 test was 87% sensitive and 95% specific. We conclude, however, that the ICT should be the primary tool recommended for decision-making about stopping MDAs. As a point-of-care diagnostic, the ICT is relatively inexpensive, requires no laboratory equipment, has satisfactory sensitivity and specificity and can be processed in 10 minutes-qualities consistent with programmatic use. Og4C3 provides a satisfactory laboratory-based diagnostic alternative.
Project description:The World Health Organization (WHO), international donors and partners have emphasized the importance of integrated control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Integrated mapping of NTDs is a first step for integrated planning of programmes, proper resource allocation and monitoring progress of control. Integrated mapping has several advantages over disease specific mapping by reducing costs and enabling co-endemic areas to be more precisely identified. We designed and conducted integrated mapping of lymphatic filariasis (LF) and podoconiosis in Ethiopia; here we present the methods, challenges and lessons learnt.Integrated mapping of 1315 communities across Ethiopia was accomplished within three months. Within these communities, 129,959 individuals provided blood samples that were tested for circulating Wuchereria bancrofti antigen using immunochromatographic card tests (ICT). Wb123 antibody tests were used to further establish exposure to LF in areas where at least one ICT positive individual was detected. A clinical algorithm was used to reliably diagnose podoconiosis by excluding other potential causes of lymphoedema of the lower limb.A total of 8110 individuals with leg swelling were interviewed and underwent physical examination. Smartphones linked to a central database were used to collect data, which facilitated real-time data entry and reduced costs compared to traditional paper-based data collection approach; their inbuilt Geographic Positioning System (GPS) function enabled simultaneous capture of geographical coordinates. The integrated approach led to efficient use of resources and rapid mapping of an enormous geographical area and was well received by survey staff and collaborators. Mobile based technology can be used for such large scale studies in resource constrained settings such as Ethiopia, with minimal challenges.This was the first integrated mapping of podoconiosis and LF globally. Integrated mapping of podoconiosis and LF is feasible and, if properly planned, can be quickly achieved at nationwide scale.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Immunochromatographic card test (ICT) is a tool to map the distribution of Wuchereria bancrofti. In areas highly endemic for loaisis in DRC and Cameroon, a relationship has been envisaged between high L. loa microfilaria (Mf) loads and ICT positivity. However, similar associations have not been demonstrated from other areas with contrasting levels of L. loa endemicity. This study investigated the cross-reactivity of ICT when mapping lymphatic filariasis (LF) in areas with contrasting endemicity levels of loiasis and mansonellosis in Cameroon. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:A cross-sectional study to assess the prevalence and intensity of W. bancrofti, L. loa and M. perstans was carried out in 42 villages across three regions (East, North-west and South-west) of the Cameroon rainforest domain. Diurnal blood was collected from participants for the detection of circulating filarial antigen (CFA) by ICT and assessment of Mf using a thick blood smear. Clinical manifestations of LF were also assessed. ICT positives and patients clinically diagnosed with lymphoedema were further subjected to night blood collection for the detection of W. bancrofti Mf. Overall, 2190 individuals took part in the study. Overall, 24 individuals residing in 14 communities were tested positive by ICT, with prevalence rates ranging from 0% in the South-west to 2.1% in the North-west. Lymphoedema were diagnosed in 20 individuals with the majority of cases found in the North-west (11/20), and none of them were tested positive by ICT. No Mf of W. bancrofti were found in the night blood of any individual with a positive ICT result or clinical lymphoedema. Positive ICT results were strongly associated with high L. loa Mf intensity with 21 subjects having more than 8,000 L. loa Mf ml/blood (Odds ratio = 15.4; 95%CI: 6.1-39.0; p < 0.001). Similarly, a strong positive association (Spearman's rho = 0.900; p = 0.037) was observed between the prevalence of L. loa and ICT positivity by area: a rate of 1% or more of positive ICT results was found only in areas with an L. loa Mf prevalence above 15%. In contrast, there was no association between ICT positivity and M. perstans prevalence (Spearman's rho = - 0.200; p = 0.747) and Mf density (Odds ratio = 1.8; 95%CI: 0.8-4.2; p = 0.192). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:This study has confirmed the strong association between the ICT positivity and L. loa intensity (Mf/ml of blood) at the individual level. Furthermore, the study has demonstrated that ICT positivity is strongly associated with high L. loa prevalence. These results suggest that the main confounding factor for positive ICT test card results are high levels of L. loa. The findings may indicate that W. bancrofti is much less prevalent in the Central African region where L. loa is highly endemic than previously assumed and accurate re-mapping of the region would be very useful for shrinking of the map of LF distribution.
Project description:The Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) aims to eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2020 by conducting mass drug administration (MDA) and controlling morbidity. Once elimination targets have been reached, surveillance is critical for ensuring that programmatic gains are sustained, and challenges include timely identification of residual areas of transmission. WHO guidelines encourage cost-efficient surveillance, such as integration with other population-based surveys. In American Samoa, where LF is caused by Wuchereria bancrofti, and Aedes polynesiensis is the main vector, the LF elimination program has made significant progress. Seven rounds of MDA (albendazole and diethycarbamazine) were completed from 2000 to 2006, and Transmission Assessment Surveys were passed in 2010/2011 and 2015. However, a seroprevalence study using an adult serum bank collected in 2010 detected two potential residual foci of transmission, with Og4C3 antigen (Ag) prevalence of 30.8% and 15.6%. We conducted a follow up study in 2014 to verify if transmission was truly occurring by comparing seroprevalence between residents of suspected hotspots and residents of other villages. In adults from non-hotspot villages (N = 602), seroprevalence of Ag (ICT or Og4C3), Bm14 antibody (Ab) and Wb123 Ab were 1.2% (95% CI 0.6-2.6%), 9.6% (95% CI 7.5%-12.3%), and 10.5% (95% CI 7.6-14.3%), respectively. Comparatively, adult residents of Fagali'i (N = 38) had significantly higher seroprevalence of Ag (26.9%, 95% CI 17.3-39.4%), Bm14 Ab (43.4%, 95% CI 32.4-55.0%), and Wb123 Ab 55.2% (95% CI 39.6-69.8%). Adult residents of Ili'ili/Vaitogi/Futiga (N = 113) also had higher prevalence of Ag and Ab, but differences were not statistically significant. The presence of transmission was demonstrated by 1.1% Ag prevalence (95% CI 0.2% to 3.1%) in 283 children aged 7-13 years who lived in one of the suspected hotspots; and microfilaraemia in four individuals, all of whom lived in the suspected hotspots, including a 9 year old child. Our results provide field evidence that integrating LF surveillance with other surveys is effective and feasible for identifying potential hotspots, and conducting surveillance at worksites provides an efficient method of sampling large populations of adults.