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Development of a rapid antibody test for point-of-care diagnosis of animal African trypanosomosis

Boulangé A., Pillay D., Chevtzoff C., Biteau N., Comé de Graça V., Rempeters L., Theodoridis D., Baltz T.. 2017. Veterinary Parasitology, 233 : p. 32-38.

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.11.017

Trypanosoma congolense and T. vivax are the main causative agents of animal African trypanosomosis (AAT), a disease which hinders livestock production throughout sub-Saharan Africa and in some parts of South America. Although two trypanocidal drugs are currently available, the level of treatment is low due to the difficulty in diagnosing the disease in the field. The major clinical signs of AAT such as anaemia, weight loss, and infertility, are common to several other endemic livestock diseases. Current diagnostic methods, based on the visualization of the parasite in the blood, or on the detection of its DNA or the antibodies it triggers in the host, are not suitable for direct use in the field as they require specialized equipment and personnel. Thus, we developed a quick-format diagnostic test (15 min) based on the recombinant TcoCB and TvGM6 antigens for detection of T. congolense and T. vivax, respectively, aimed at providing farmers and veterinarians in the field with the means to conduct a quick diagnosis. The specificity and sensitivity of the test were evaluated using sera from experimentally infected cattle, and fresh blood when possible. The prototype, which includes both antigens, shows a specificity of 95.9 (95% C.I., 90.4%¿100%) and a sensitivity of 92.0% (95% C.I., 85.9%¿98.1%) for T. congolense and 98.2% (95% C.I., 94.7%¿100%) for T. vivax. The high levels of sensitivity and specificity of this rapid test, the possibility of using directly whole blood, and the ease of interpreting the result, all contribute to make of this test a valuable candidate to contribute to the control of AAT in the field. However, further tests with more representative, numerous and fresh reference samples are necessary in order to compare this test with the ELISA, the current gold standard serological test for trypanosomosis.

Mots-clés : trypanosomose africaine; trypanosoma congolense; trypanosoma vivax; technique immunologique; diagnostic; bovinae; bos taurus; zébu; afrique du sud; burkina faso; mozambique

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