Navigation Links
Better tests for sleeping sickness
Date:5/22/2012

Lies Van Nieuwenhove, researcher at the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine, has produced proteins imitating typical parts of the sleeping sickness parasite. They can be used in more efficient diagnostic tests, without the need for culturing dangerous parasites.

Each year many thousands of Africans contract sleeping sickness. The cause is a unicellular parasite, a trypanosome, which is transmitted by the bite of tsetse flies. First the parasite multiplies in blood and lymph, while evading the human immune system. It then lodges in organs like heart and kidneys and finally in the brain. Patients become disoriented, their sleeping pattern disintegrates and they get motor and mental problems. This inevitably leads to coma and death. The World Health Organisation estimates that sleeping sickness each year claims 10 000 to 20 000 lives.

In an early stage the disease is easy to treat, but once the brain is invaded, the treatment becomes more complex and one must use medicines with dangerous, even deadly, side effects. So it is important to detect the infection early.

In the regions where Trypanosoma brucei gambiense is found, medical workers for decades already use a rapid diagnostic test, developed at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, to screen millions of people each year on the presence of antibodies in their blood.

But diagnostic test are not perfect: they always will miss cases, or on the contrary they see an infection where there isn't. A bit as the metal detectors at airports: too sensitive and they annoyingly go off on each buckle, earring or coin; a bit less sensitive and pocketknives start slipping trough.

In recent years the number of cases has come down substantially, thanks to campaigns against the disease, so error margins that were acceptable in the old days, because the tests still saved so many lives, now become inadmissible. Research scientist Lies Van Nieuwenhove set out to develop a new and better test.

In such tests one demonstrates the antibodies by presenting them targets they will also recognise and attack on real trypanosomes: typical proteins that cover the parasite as a mantle. When antibody and target react when the test is 'positive' this is made visible by for instance a colour change or a clotting. Today those targets are obtained from living parasites that are raised in laboratory animals, and are a constant danger for the laboratory technicians.

Therefore Van Nieuwenhove tried to synthesise artificial targets, 'mimotopes' that mimic only a part of the original target protein, but still are sufficient to react with the patient's antibodies. She indeed could produce mimotopes that are reliable and give alarm with the right patients. These mimotopes now can be the base for a new generation of rapid diagnostic tests for sleeping sickness.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lies Van Nieuwenhove
lvnieuwenhove@itg.be
32-496-274-434
Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Autism-Related Hypersensitivity Better Understood
2. Developing guidelines for better reporting of health research
3. Hawaiian-shirt.net Offers 10 Tips To Beat The Winter Blues: Things You Can Do Right Now to Have a Better Day
4. Better care at any hour for palliative patients
5. Patients Do Better at Hospitals That Follow Stroke Guidelines
6. More Expensive Hospital Care May Not Mean Better
7. New MRI May Lead to Better Brain Pictures
8. Biological clock could be a key to better health, longer life
9. Why do physicians order costly CTs? Ultrasound yields better diagnosis, safer, less costly
10. BetterInvesting Magazine Releases May Stock to Study and Undervalued Stock Choices for Investors Informational and Educational Use
11. New approach to immune cell analysis seen as first step to better distinguish health and disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Better tests for sleeping sickness
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... An increase in wetter weather in the Northern California area ... that; a humdinger of an allergy season. A relief from drought conditions is most ... grass and weed pollen. , “Our patients have been reporting the typical allergy ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... ... is Men’s Health Month and the focus is on prostate cancer. Second only ... and the third most common cause of cancer related death today; lung cancer remains in ... diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Those at highest risk are men ...
(Date:6/24/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... ... Located at 217 Portion Road in Lake Ronkonkoma, Dental365 offers patients high-quality and ... so that visits to the dentist fit into their patients’ busy lifestyles. Dental365 ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... The Rhode Island Quality Institute ... Alerts and Dashboards, an innovative new service enabling healthcare providers to proactively coordinate ... Alerts and Dashboards provide near real-time data about patients admitted to and/or discharged ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Yesterday, ... proposed healthcare bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like ... make significant cuts to Medicaid, a public health insurance program for low-income children, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/7/2017)... 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: NVAX ) today ... trials of its RSV F protein recombinant nanoparticle vaccine candidate ... been published in the journal Vaccine ... prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced top line ... developing the RSV F Vaccine with the goal of protecting ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... , June 5, 2017 Kohll,s Pharmacy ... the United States . The Raizer is ... a fallen person up to an almost-standing position ... and operated by one assistant and does not ... is simple enough that a child can operate it, ...
(Date:6/1/2017)... 2017 Nutriceutical Holdings (NH), parent company of ... and KD Pharma Group have decided to join forces ... Pharma Group. KD Pharma Group will become the largest ... the entire company. "We believe we have ... to growing the NH companies by providing us with ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: