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Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2003 Aug;4(4):299-308.

Immunodiagnosis of parasitic diseases with synthetic peptides.

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Sección de Biohelmintiasis, Instituto de Medicina Tropical, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela.


Parasitic diseases remain as a major public health problem worldwide, not only based on their historically high morbidity and mortality rates, but also because risk factors associated with their transmission are increasing. Laboratory diagnosis and particularly immunodiagnosis is a basic tool for the demonstration, clinical management and control of these infections. Classically, the serological tests for the detection of antibodies or antigens are based on the use of crude and purified antigens. Synthetic peptides have opened a new field and perspectives, as the source of pure epitopes and molecules for diagnosis of malaria, Chagas' disease, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, hidatidosis, cysticercosis and fasciolosis based on the detection of antibodies and circulating antigens. Herein, are critically reviewed the relevant advances and applications of the synthetic peptides on immunodiagnosis of parasitic diseases. A variety of sequences, constructs (monomers, polymers, MAPs), immunological methods and samples have been used, demonstrating their diagnostic potential. However, in most parasitic infections it is necessary to use more than a single peptide in order to avoid the genetic restriction against certain epitopes, as well as to test them in well characteized groups of patients, in order to confirm their sensitivity and specificity. The concept of multidiagnosis with synthetic peptides, using a novel multi-dot blot assay is introduced. Finally, the chemical imitation of antigens, offers a tremendous posibilities in the diagnosis of parasitic infections in developing countries since this strategy is cheaper, simpler, reproducible, useful for large scale testing and in most cases, specific and sensitive.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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