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Parasit Vectors. 2019 Nov 29;12(1):570. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3824-x.

Assessment of multiplex Onchocerca volvulus peptide ELISA in non-endemic tropical regions.

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Janssen Global Public Health, Turnhoutseweg 30, 2340, Beerse, Belgium.
InfYnity Biomarkers, 78 rue du Bourbonnais, 69009, Lyon, France.
Kenya Medical Research Institute, Centre for Global Health Research, P. O. Box 1578, 40100, Kisumu, Kenya.
Janssen Global Public Health, Turnhoutseweg 30, 2340, Beerse, Belgium.



Currently, serodiagnosis of infection with the helminth parasite Onchocerca volvulus is limited to the Ov-16 IgG4 test, a test that has limited sensitivity and suboptimal specificity. In previous studies, we identified several linear epitopes that have the potential to supplement the diagnostic toolbox for onchocerciasis.


In this study three peptides, bearing in total six linear epitopes were transferred to a multiplex ELISA platform. This multiplex ELISA was used to assess the clinical utility of the peptide serology markers by analyzing sample sets from both O. volvulus endemic and non-endemic regions.


The multiplex platform was shown to be reproducible and data obtained on the multiplex platform were comparable to the singleplex ELISA data. The clinical utility assessment showed that in a population of school-aged children from western Kenya, a virtually O. volvulus-free area, significant cross-reactivity with an as-yet to be determined immunogen was detected.


The observations made in this study invalidate the usefulness of the peptide serology markers for onchocerciasis detection. We discuss what could be the origin of this unexpected serological response, but also highlight the need for better characterized biobanks for biomarker discovery activities.


Diagnostics; Multiplex ELISA; Onchocerca volvulus; Peptide serology

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