Improved diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis thanks to new techniques
Dutch researcher Wendy van der Meide has developed and evaluated new techniques for a better diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis and an improved monitoring of its treatment. Accurately establishing the number of parasites in a skin lesion before, during and after treatment is vital, so as to prevent serious physical consequences.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a non-lethal disease but can have grave consequences for the patient. Such consequences can be prevented with a rapid and accurate diagnosis and treatment. The treatment is based on clinical criteria. Therefore, it is essential to establish the number of parasites present in a skin lesion as accurately as possible before, during and after treatment in order to assess the treatment outcome.
Van der Meide has developed and evaluated a technique for the detection and quantification of Leishmania parasites. The so-called QT-NASBA technique, based on recognition of nucleic acids of the parasite, was found to be a sensitive and specific tool for monitoring treatments. The instrument can also contribute to predicting the clinical outcome. Although QT-NASBA was highly sensitive, another technique, the so-called real-time Reverse Transcriptase PCR was found to be more suitable due to its greater time efficiency and lower costs. In practice, neither of these two techniques will be quickly deployed in developing countries. Therefore, different antigens were also compared in a serological test (ELISA) for use in Brazil and Suriname, where the disease is mainly caused by Leishmania guyanensis. The use of antigens for this species of Leishmania significantly improved the serological test compared to antigens from other species. These results could be vitally important for improving the effectiveness of serological tests for the diagnosis of CL.
Part of the research was carried out in Suriname. Van der Meide discovered that the prescribed treatment was only carried out to completion in a low percentage of cases; just half of the CL patients received the full treatment. Moreover, fewer patients seemed to recover than had previously been observed. Consequently, a shorter and more efficient treatment protocol was recommended to improve the use and efficacy of the treatment. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that not one but three different species of Leishmania in Suriname can cause human infection.
Leishmaniasis is an infectious disease caused by single-celled parasites transmitted by sand flies. The disease occurs in tropical regions in Africa, Asia and America but also in the Mediterranean region and in the Middle East. Worldwide there is a clear and disturbing increase in the number of CL patients. CL results in one or more skin sores, and in the case of L. guyanensis regularly spreads into the lymph vessels. Although the sores can spontaneously disappear over the course of several months or years, they leave severe scars behind. Some types of CL can spread into the mucous membranes. This can lead to considerable damage of the nose cartilage and mouth.
Sonja Knols | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...