image of Development of a Multiplex Bead Assay for the Detection of IgG Antibody Responses to Guinea Worm
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The success of the Guinea Worm (GW) Eradication Program over the past three decades has been tempered by the persistence of GW disease in a few African nations and the potential for a future resurgence in cases. Domestic dogs are now a major concern as a disease reservoir as large numbers of cases of canine GW disease are now reported each year, mainly along the Chari River in Chad. As a first step toward the development of a serologic assay for dogs, archived human plasma samples from dracunculiasis-positive donors from Togo were used to select adult female GW antigens for peptide sequencing and cloning. Eight protein sequences of interest were expressed as recombinant glutathione--transferase (GST) fusion proteins, and the most promising proteins were coupled to carboxylated microspheres for use in multiplex assays. A thioredoxin-like protein (TRXL1) and a domain of unknown function (DUF148) were assessed for total IgG and IgG reactivities using a panel of specimens from GW cases, uninfected donors, and individuals infected with various nematode worms, including . Both the DUF148-GST and the TRXL1-GST assays cross-reacted with sera, but the latter assay was always the more specific. The IgG and total IgG TRXL1-GST assays both had sensitivities > 87% and specificities > 90%. Maximum specificity (> 96%) was obtained with the total IgG assay when reactivity to both antigens was used to define a positive case. Given the good performance of the human assay, we are now working to modify the assay for dog assessments.


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  • Received : 19 May 2020
  • Accepted : 27 Jul 2020
  • Published online : 08 Sep 2020
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