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Loa loa infection detection using biomarkers: current perspectives

Authors Akue JP, Eyang-Assengone ER, Dieki R

Received 10 September 2017

Accepted for publication 21 December 2017

Published 3 April 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 43—48


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Unnasch

Video abstract presented by Jean Paul Akue

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Jean Paul Akue,1 Elsa-Rush Eyang-Assengone,1,2 Roland Dieki1

Department of Parasitology, Centre International of Medical Research of Franceville, Franceville, Gabon; 2Department of Infectiologie Tropicale, Ecole Doctorale Régionale d’Afrique Centrale, Franceville, Gabon

Abstract: Loa loa is originally a restricted filarial worm from central Africa and some west African countries. However, numerous imported cases are being reported throughout the world due to human movement. Traditionally, its diagnosis is based on identification of microfilariae in the peripheral blood or the passage of the adult worm under the conjunctiva. However, few patients have microfilariae in their peripheral blood, while the majority of infected people are amicrofilaremic (without microfilariae in their blood), despite clinical symptoms suggesting L. loa infection. This situation suggests that diagnoses based on the presence of microfilariae in the blood or the ocular passage of an adult worm, are not sensitive. Therefore, it seems necessary to search for biomarkers to remedy this situation. Furthermore, L. loa is a major obstacle in the control of other filarial worms in areas where these filariae are co-endemic. To develop a diagnostic tool based on a biomarker, several approaches have been considered using antibodies, antigens or nucleic acid detection. However, none of the diagnostic techniques in loiasis based on biomarkers has reached the point of care as have microscopic detection of microfilariae or observation of ocular passage of a worm.

Keywords: Loa loa, diagnosis, antibody, antigen, DNA

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