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

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.


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

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