Background: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for use at the point-of-care (POC) are likely to become increasingly useful as large-scale control programmes for schistosomiasis get underway. Given the low sensitivity of the reference standard egg count methods in detecting light infections, more sensitive tests will be required to monitor efforts aimed at eliminating schistosomiasis as advocated by the World Health Assembly Resolution 65.21 passed in 2012.
Methods: A recently developed RDT incorporating Schistosoma mansoni cercarial transformation fluid (SmCTF) for detection of anti-schistosome antibodies in human blood was here evaluated in children (mean age: 7.65 years; age range: 1-12 years) carrying light S. mansoni and S. haematobium infections in a schistosome-endemic area of Zimbabwe by comparison to standard parasitological techniques (i.e. the Kato-Katz faecal smear and urine filtration). Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) incorporating S. haematobium antigen preparations were also employed for additional comparison.
Results: The sensitivity of the SmCTF-RDT compared to standard parasitological methods was 100% while the specificity was 39.5%. It was found that the sera from RDT "false-positive" children showed significantly higher antibody titres in IgM-cercarial antigen preparation (CAP) and IgM-soluble egg antigen (SEA) ELISA assays than children identified by parasitology as "true-negatives".
Conclusions: Although further evaluations are necessary using more accurate reference standard tests, these results indicate that the RDT could be a useful tool for the rapid prevalence-mapping of both S. mansoni and S. haematobium in schistosome-endemic areas. It is affordable, user-friendly and allows for diagnosis of both schistosome species at the POC.
- Neglected tropical disease
- NEGLECTED TROPICAL DISEASES
- URINE REAGENT STRIPS
- ADULT-WORM ANTIGENS
- INTESTINAL SCHISTOSOMIASIS
- CERCARIAL ANTIGENS
- EGG ANTIGENS