Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen


2 Nanoparticle-Based Histidine-Rich Protein-2 Assay for the Detection of the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum

Authors: Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen, Robert H. Gilman, Chloe Kim, David J. Sullivan, Peter C. Searson


Diagnosis of severe malaria is particularly important in highly endemic regions since most patients are positive for parasitemia and treatment differs from non-severe malaria. Diagnosis can be challenging due to the prevalence of diseases with similar symptoms. Accurate diagnosis is increasingly important to avoid overprescribing antimalarial drugs, minimize drug resistance, and minimize costs. A nanoparticle-based assay for detection and quantification of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) in urine and serum is reported. The assay uses magnetic beads conjugated with anti-HRP2 antibody for protein capture and concentration, and antibody-conjugated quantum dots for optical detection. Western Blot analysis demonstrated that magnetic beads allows the concentration of HRP2 protein in urine by 20-fold. The concentration effect was achieved because large volume of urine can be incubated with beads, and magnetic separation can be easily performed in minutes to isolate beads containing HRP2 protein. Magnetic beads and Quantum Dots 525 conjugated to anti-HRP2 antibodies allows the detection of low concentration of HRP2 protein (0.5 ng mL-1), and quantification in the range of 33 to 2,000 ng mL-1 corresponding to the range associated with non-severe to severe malaria. This assay can be easily adapted to a non-invasive point-of-care test for classification of severe malaria.

Keywords: Quantum Dots, Malaria, HRP2 protein, magnetic beads

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1 Use of a Chagas Urine Nanoparticle Test (Chunap) to Correlate with Parasitemia Levels in T. cruzi/HIV Co-Infected Patients

Authors: Yagahira E. Castro-Sesquen, Robert H. Gilman, Carolina Mejia, Daniel E. Clark, Jeong Choi, Melissa J. Reimer-Mcatee, Rocio Castro, Jorge Flores, Edward Valencia-Ayala, Faustino Torrico, Ricardo Castillo-Neyra, Lance Liotta, Caryn Bern, Alessandra Luchini


Early diagnosis of reactivation of Chagas disease in HIV patients could be lifesaving; however, in Latin American the diagnosis is performed by detection of parasitemia by microscopy which lacks sensitivity. To evaluate if levels of T. cruzi antigens in urine determined by Chunap (Chagas urine nanoparticle test) are correlated with parasitemia levels in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients. T. cruzi antigens in urine of HIV patients (N=55: 31 T. cruzi infected and 24 T. cruzi serology negative) were concentrated using hydrogel particles and quantified by Western Blot and a calibration curve. The percentage of Chagas positive patients determined by Chunap compared to blood microscopy, qPCR, and ELISA was 100% (6/6), 95% (18/19) and 74% (23/31), respectively. Chunap specificity was 91.7%. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a direct relationship between parasitemia levels (determined by qPCR) and urine T. cruzi antigen concentrations (p<0.001). A cut-off of > 105 pg was chosen to determine patients with reactivation of Chagas disease (6/6). Urine antigen concentration was significantly higher among patients with CD4+ lymphocyte counts below 200/mL (p=0.045). Chunap shows potential for early detection of reactivation and with appropriate adaptation can be used for monitoring Chagas disease status in T. cruzi/HIV co-infected patients.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, antigenuria, Chagas disease, Chunap, parasitemia, poly N-isopropylacrylamide (NIPAm)/trypan blue particles (polyNIPAm/TB), reactivation of Chagas disease

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