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A New Molecular Surveillance System for Leishmaniasis

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  • Department of Protozoology, Institute of Tropical Medicine (NEKKEN), Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan; Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal; Janakpur Zonal Hospital, Janakpur, Nepal; Department of Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine (NEKKEN), Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan; Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Nanyang Technological University, School of Biological Sciences, Singapore
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Presently, global efforts are being made to control and eradicate the deadliest tropical diseases through the improvement of adequate interventions. A critical point for programs to succeed is the prompt and accurate diagnosis in endemic regions. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are being massively deployed and used to improve diagnosis in tropical countries. In the present report, we evaluated the hypothesis of, after use for diagnosis, the reuse of the Leishmania RDT kit as a DNA source, which can be used downstream as a molecular surveillance and/or quality control tool. As a proof of principle, a polymerase chain reaction-based method was used to detect Leishmania spp. minicircle kinetoplast DNA from leishmaniasis RDT kits. Our results show that Leishmania spp. DNA can be extracted from used RDTs and may constitute an important, reliable, and affordable tool to assist in future leishmaniasis molecular surveillance methods.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Pedro Eduardo Ferreira, Nanyang Technological University, School of Biological Sciences, 60 Nanyang Drive, Singapore. E-mail: pedro.ferreira@ki.se

Financial support: This work is supported by UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland) Optimus Foundation and Karolinska Institute Research Foundations.

Authors' addresses: Kishor Pandey and Osamu Kaneko, Department of Protozoology, Institute of Tropical Medicine (NEKKEN), Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan, E-mails: pandey_kishor@hotmail.com and okaneko@nagasaki-u.ac.jp. Basu Dev Pandey and Jyoti Acharya, Infectious Disease, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Kathmandu, Nepal, E-mails: drbasupandey@gmail.com and acharyajyoti30@yahoo.com. Arun Kumar Mallik, Infectious Disease, Janakpur Zonal Hospital, Janakpur, Nepal, E-mail: ak_mallik@yahoo.com. Kentaro Kato, Department of Parasitology, Institute of Tropical Medicine (NEKKEN), Nagasaki, Japan, E-mail: katoken@nagasaki-u.ac.jp. Pedro Eduardo Ferreira, Nanyang Technological University, School of Biological Sciences, Singapore, E-mail: pedro.ferreira@ki.se.

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