Detection of filaria-specific IgG4 antibodies and filarial DNA, for the screening of blood spots for Brugia timori

P. Fischer, I. Bonow, T. Supali, P. Rückert, N. Rahmah

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The establishment of simple, sensitive and specific tools for the diagnosis of brugian lymphatic filariasis is a prerequisite for a successful intervention to control the disease. In the simple and rapid Brugia Rapid (BR) test, an immunochromatographic dipstick is used to detect IgG4 antibodies that are reactive with a recombinant Brugia malayi antigen. When sera from 109 individuals with Brugia microfilaraemias (12 with B. malayi and 97 with B. timori) were investigated using the BR test, all were found positive. In contrast, all of the 150 sera from individuals with Onchocerca volvulus or Mansonella infections investigated were found negative in BR tests. Some unwelcome cross-reactions were observed, however, with sera from individuals infected with Wuchereria bancrofti (three of 12 test-positive) and Dirofilaria (one of nine test-positive). In an attempt to facilitate sample collection and detect any cross-reactions, the BR dipstick was used to screen blood spots, that had been allowed to dry on filter paper, for B. timori microfilariae, before the dipstick-positive samples were tested with a PCR-based assay. Of the 66 individuals so tested, 37 (56%) were found positive by the BR test used on dry blood spots and eight (22%) by the filtration of fresh blood samples. Only nine of the 37 dipstick-positive samples were found PCR-positive. The combined use of BR tests and PCR-based assays, for testing blood spots in areas where brugian filariasis is endemic, appears to be a promising method not only for post-treatment monitoring but also for the certification activities planned within the framework of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


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