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Development and evaluation of an antigen detection dipstick assay for the diagnosis of human onchocerciasis

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To improve on the diagnosis of onchocerciasis, especially light infections, we developed and evaluated an oncho-dipstick test based on the detection of Onchocerca volvulus specific antigens in urine and tears. The test was able to detect as little as 25 ng/ml of parasite specific antigens in samples and took as little as 3 h. Evaluation of the assay on 456 residents of an onchocerciasis hyperendermic area in Cameroon resulted in 408 (89.5%) positives in urine and 374 (82%) positives in tears. The prevalence of onchocerciasis in the study area, as determined by Rapid Epidemiological Mapping of Onchocerciasis (REMO) and skin snip methods, was 52 and 36.8%, respectively. The sensitivity of the oncho-dipstick assay was 100% in urine and 92% in tears; its specificity was 100% in both. Concordance between urine and tear test results from the same individuals was 87%. The test strips were sufficiently reactive when left at room temperature for up to 8 months. The test would be useful for laboratory diagnosis of onchocerciasis in low transmission zones and to ascertain successful treatment of patients in experimental drug studies.
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Keywords: antigen-detection; dipstick test; oncho-C27 antigen; onchocerciasis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: IBL/FMBS, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon 2: IMPM/MINREST, Yaoundé, Cameroon

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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