Chagas Disease, caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, is a major health and economic problem in Latin America for which no vaccine or appropriate drugs for large-scale public health interventions are yet available. Accurate diagnosis is essential for the early identification and follow up of vector-borne cases and to prevent transmission of the disease by way of blood transfusions and organ transplantation. Diagnosis is routinely performed using serological methods, some of which require the production of parasite lysates, parasite antigenic fractions or purified recombinant antigens. Although available serological tests give satisfactory results, the production of reliable reagents remains laborious and expensive. Short peptides spanning linear B-cell epitopes have proven ideal serodiagnostic reagents in a wide range of diseases. Recently, we have conducted a large-scale screening of T. cruzi linear B-cell epitopes using high-density peptide chips, leading to the identification of several hundred novel sequence signatures associated to chronic Chagas Disease. Here, we performed a serological assessment of 27 selected epitopes and of their use in a novel multipeptide-based diagnostic method. A combination of 7 of these peptides were finally evaluated in ELISA format against a panel of 199 sera samples (Chagas-positive and negative, including sera from Leishmaniasis-positive subjects). The multipeptide formulation displayed a high diagnostic performance, with a sensitivity of 96.3% and a specificity of 99.15%. Therefore, the use of synthetic peptides as diagnostic tools are an attractive alternative in Chagas' disease diagnosis.
Bibliographical noteCopyright: © 2017 Mucci et al. 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.
Mucci, J., Carmona, S. J., Volcovich, R., Altcheh, J., Bracamonte, E., Marco, J. D., Nielsen, M., Buscaglia, C. A., & Aguero, F. (2017). Next-generation ELISA diagnostic assay for Chagas Disease based on the combination of short peptidic epitopes. P L o S Neglected Tropical Diseases (Online), 11(10), [e0005972]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005972