Volume 98, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Diagnostic tools for the detection of infection with are presently limited to microfilaria detection in skin biopsies and serological assessment using the Ov16 immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) rapid test, both of which have limited sensitivity. We have investigated the diagnostic performance of a peptide enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on immunodominant linear epitopes previously discovered. Peptides that were used in these assays were designated motif peptides (OvMP): OvMP-1 (VSV-EPVTTQET-VSV), OvMP-2 (VSV-KDGEDK-VSV), OvMP-3 (VSV-QTSNLD-VSV), and the combination of the latter two, OvMP-23 (VSV-KDGEDK-VSV-QTSNLD-VSV). Sensitivity ( infection), specificity (non-helminth infections), and cross-reactivity (helminth infections) were determined using several panels of clinical plasma isolates. OvMP-1 was found to be very sensitive (100%) and specific (98.7%), but showed substantial cross-reactivity with other helminths. Of the other peptides, OvMP-23 was the most promising peptide with a sensitivity of 92.7%, a specificity of 100%, and a cross-reactivity of 6%. It was also demonstrated that these peptides were immunoreactive to IgG but not IgG4, and there is no correlation with the Ov16 IgG4 status, making them promising candidates to complement this already available test. Combination of the Ov16 IgG4 rapid test and OvMP-23 peptide ELISA led to a sensitivity of 97.3% for the detection of infection, without compromising specificity and with minimal impact on cross-reactivity. The available results open the opportunity for a “” discussion for improved epidemiological mapping.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Holmes P, WHO Strategic and Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases; , 2014. Neglected tropical diseases in the post-2015 health agenda. Lancet 383: 1803. [Google Scholar]
  2. Hotez PJ, Brindley PJ, Bethony JM, King CH, Pearce EJ, Jacobson J, , 2008. Helminth infections: the great neglected tropical diseases. J Clin Invest 118: 13111321. [Google Scholar]
  3. WHO, 2017. Report of the Tenth Meeting of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press.
  4. Enk CD, , 2006. Onchocerciasis—river blindness. Clin Dermatol 24: 176180. [Google Scholar]
  5. Borup LH, Peters JS, Sartori CR, , 2003. Onchocerciasis (river blindness). Cutis 72: 297302. [Google Scholar]
  6. Rodriguez-Perez MA, 2015. Elimination of onchocerciasis from Mexico. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9: e0003922. [Google Scholar]
  7. Richards F, Jr 2015. One hundred years after its discovery in Guatemala by Rodolfo Robles, Onchocerca volvulus transmission has been eliminated from the central endemic zone. Am J Trop Med Hyg 93: 12951304. [Google Scholar]
  8. Botto C, 2016. Evidence of suppression of onchocerciasis transmission in the Venezuelan Amazonian focus. Parasit Vectors 9: 40. [Google Scholar]
  9. Dull HB, Meredith SE, , 1998. The Mectizan Donation Programme—a 10-year report. Ann Trop Med Parasitol 92 (Suppl 1): S69S71. [Google Scholar]
  10. Evans DS, Unnasch TR, Richards FO, , 2015. Onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis elimination in Africa: it’s about time. Lancet 385: 21512152. [Google Scholar]
  11. WHO, 2016. Guidelines for Stopping Mass Drug Administration and Verifying Elimination of Human onchocerciasis: Criteria and Procedures. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
  12. Lipner EM, Dembele N, Souleymane S, Alley WS, Prevots DR, Toe L, Boatin B, Weil GJ, Nutman TB, , 2006. Field applicability of a rapid-format anti-Ov-16 antibody test for the assessment of onchocerciasis control measures in regions of endemicity. J Infect Dis 194: 216221. [Google Scholar]
  13. Weil GJ, Steel C, Liftis F, Li BW, Mearns G, Lobos E, Nutman TB, , 2000. A rapid-format antibody card test for diagnosis of onchocerciasis. J Infect Dis 182: 17961799. [Google Scholar]
  14. Steel C, Golden A, Stevens E, Yokobe L, Domingo GJ, de Los Santos T, Nutman TB, , 2015. Rapid point-of-contact tool for mapping and integrated surveillance of Wuchereria bancrofti and Onchocerca volvulus infection. Clin Vaccine Immunol 22: 896901. [Google Scholar]
  15. Golden A, 2013. Extended result reading window in lateral flow tests detecting exposure to Onchocerca volvulus: a new technology to improve epidemiological surveillance tools. PLoS One 8: e69231. [Google Scholar]
  16. Lavebratt C, Dalhammar G, Adamafio NA, Nykanen-Dejerud U, Mingarini K, Ingemarsson K, Opoku N, Akuffo HO, , 1994. A simple dot blot assay adaptable for field use in the diagnosis of onchocerciasis: preparation of an adult worm antigen fraction which enhances sensitivity and specificity. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 88: 303306. [Google Scholar]
  17. Chandrashekar R, Ogunrinade AF, Weil GJ, , 1996. Use of recombinant Onchocerca volvulus antigens for diagnosis and surveillance of human onchocerciasis. Trop Med Int Health 1: 575580. [Google Scholar]
  18. Lagatie O, Van Dorst B, Stuyver LJ, , 2017. Identification of three immunodominant motifs with atypical isotype profile scattered over the Onchocerca volvulus proteome. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11: e0005330. [Google Scholar]
  19. Debrah AY, 2015. Doxycycline leads to sterility and enhanced killing of female Onchocerca volvulus worms in an area with persistent microfilaridermia after repeated ivermectin treatment: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Clin Infect Dis 61: 517526. [Google Scholar]
  20. Stuyver LJ, Verbeke T, Van Loy T, Van Gulck E, Tritsmans L, , 2013. An antibody response to human polyomavirus 15-mer peptides is highly abundant in healthy human subjects. Virol J 10: 192. [Google Scholar]
  21. Van Loy T, Thys K, Tritsmans L, Stuyver LJ, , 2013. Quasispecies analysis of JC virus DNA present in urine of healthy subjects. PLoS One 8: e70950. [Google Scholar]
  22. Lagatie O, Van Loy T, Tritsmans L, Stuyver LJ, , 2014. Circulating human microRNAs are not linked to JC polyomavirus serology or urinary viral load in healthy subjects. Virol J 11: 41. [Google Scholar]
  23. Lagatie O, Van Loy T, Tritsmans L, Stuyver LJ, , 2014. Antibodies reacting with JCPyV_VP2 _167-15mer as a novel serological marker for JC polyomavirus infection. Virol J 11: 174. [Google Scholar]
  24. Lagatie O, Van Loy T, Tritsmans L, Stuyver LJ, , 2014. Viral miRNAs in plasma and urine divulge JC polyomavirus infection. Virol J 11: 158. [Google Scholar]
  25. van der Hoek W, De NV, Konradsen F, Cam PD, Hoa NT, Toan ND, Cong le D, , 2003. Current status of soil-transmitted helminths in Vietnam. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 34 (Suppl 1): 111. [Google Scholar]
  26. Hung BK, De NV, Duyet le V, Chai JY, , 2016. Prevalence of soil-transmitted helminths and molecular clarification of hookworm species in ethnic Ede primary schoolchildren in Dak Lak Province, southern Vietnam. Korean J Parasitol 54: 471476. [Google Scholar]
  27. Meyrowitsch DW, Nguyen DT, Hoang TH, Nguyen TD, Michael E, , 1998. A review of the present status of lymphatic filariasis in Vietnam. Acta Trop 70: 335347. [Google Scholar]
  28. Noordin R, Shenoy RK, Lim BH, Ramachandran CP, , 2013. Filarial worms in southeast Asia. Lim YAL, Vythilingam I, eds. Parasites and Their Vectors: A Special Focus on Southeast Asia. Vienna, Austria: Springer-Verlag Wien, 3356.
  29. Rebollo MP, 2015. Shrinking the lymphatic filariasis map of Ethiopia: reassessing the population at risk through nationwide mapping. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9: e0004172. [Google Scholar]
  30. Stahl HD, Crewther PE, Anders RF, Kemp DJ, , 1987. Structure of the FIRA gene of Plasmodium falciparum. Mol Biol Med 4: 199211. [Google Scholar]
  31. Stahl HD, Crewther PE, Anders RF, Brown GV, Coppel RL, Bianco AE, Mitchell GF, Kemp DJ, , 1985. Interspersed blocks of repetitive and charged amino acids in a dominant immunogen of Plasmodium falciparum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 82: 543547. [Google Scholar]
  32. Kaur P, Sharma P, Kumar A, Chauhan VS, , 1990. Synthetic, immunological and structural studies on repeat unit peptides of Plasmodium falciparum antigens. Int J Pept Protein Res 36: 515521. [Google Scholar]
  33. Winthrop KL, 2006. The reliability of anterior segment lesions as indicators of onchocercal eye disease in Guatemala. Am J Trop Med Hyg 75: 10581062. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 29 Sep 2017
  • Accepted : 21 Nov 2017
  • Published online : 08 Jan 2018

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error