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Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases

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Disease prevention -- research, Taeniasis


We developed a novel and portable fluorescent sensor that integrates a lateral flow assay with a quantum dot (Qdots) label and a mobile phone reader for detection of specific antibodies in human serum. We evaluated the utility of this assay to test for antibodies to the Taenia solium rT24H antigen. It was a retrospective study by examining 112 positive human sera from patients with neurocysticercosis (NCC) including samples from patients with single viable cyst (n = 18), two or more viable cysts (n = 71), and subarachnoid (racemose) cysts (n = 23). These samples were collected from previous study subjects in Lima, Peru under an approved study protocol in Peru. The sera were made anonymous under a protocol approved by the CDC Institutional Review Board. Definitive diagnosis of the subject was established by computed-tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging. To test the specificity of the assay, we evaluated a panel of serum samples obtained from patients with other infections (n = 24), and serum samples from persons in the United States and Egypt who had not traveled outside their country, and therefore are presumed negative for cysticercosis (n = 128). The assay specificity in the negative panel was 99% (95–100%) while assay sensitivity was 89% (79–95%) in NCC patients with two or more viable cysts. Our assay has performance characteristics similar to those of traditional platforms for the detection of NCC and shows promise as a mobile phone reader-based point-of-care test for antibody detection.


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