Publications by authors named "Wagner J T Santos"

4 Publications

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Assessment of a recombinant protein from Leishmania infantum as a novel tool for Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) diagnosis in VL/HIV co-infection cases.

PLoS One 2021 17;16(5):e0251861. Epub 2021 May 17.

Instituto Aggeu Magalhães, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Visceral Leishmaniasis and HIV-AIDS coinfection (VL/HIV) is considered a life-threatening pathology when undiagnosed and untreated, due to the immunosuppression caused by both diseases. Serological tests largely used for the VL diagnosis include the direct agglutination test (DAT), ELISA and immunochromatographic (ICT) assays. For VL diagnosis in HIV infections, different studies have shown that the use of the DAT assay facilitates the VL diagnosis in co-infected patients, since the performance of the most widely used ELISA and ICT tests, based on the recombinant protein rK39, are much less efficient in HIV co-infections. In this scenario, alternative recombinant antigens may help the development of new serological diagnostic methods which may improve the VL diagnosis for the co-infection cases. This work aimed to evaluate the use of the recombinant Lci2 antigen, related to, but antigenically more diverse than rK39, for VL diagnosis in co-infected sera through ELISA assays. A direct comparison between recombinant Lci2 and rK39 was thus carried out. The two proteins were first tested using indirect ELISA with sera from VL afflicted individuals and healthy controls, with similar performances. They were then tested with two different sets of VL/HIV co-infected cases and a significant drop in performance, for one of these groups, was observed for rK39 (32% sensitivity), but not for Lci2 (98% sensitivity). In fact, an almost perfect agreement (Kappa: 0.93) between the Lci2 ELISA and DAT was observed for the coinfected VL/HIV patients. Lci2 then has the potential to be used as a new tool for the VL diagnosis of VL/HIV co-infections.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0251861PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128258PMC
May 2021

Gene design, optimization of protein expression and preliminary evaluation of a new chimeric protein for the serological diagnosis of both human and canine visceral leishmaniasis.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2020 07 27;14(7):e0008488. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Instituto Aggeu Magalhães (IAM)-Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a major neglected disease, potentially fatal, whose control is still impaired by inefficient and/or expensive treatment and diagnostic methods. The most promising approach for VL diagnosis uses serological assays with recombinant proteins, since they are more efficient and easier to perform. Tests developed for the human form of the disease, however, have not been shown to be efficient for its diagnosis in the canine host, the major reservoir for the American VL.

Methodology/principal Findings: Here, we describe a systematic approach aimed at the production of a new chimeric protein potentially able to be used for both human and canine VL diagnosis and based both on in silico gene design and experimental data. Starting from the previous identification of Leishmania infantum recombinant antigens efficient for the diagnosis of either human or canine VL, three of the best performing antigens were selected (Lci2, Lci3 and Lci12). After a preliminary evaluation validating the chimeric approach, DNA fragments encoding predicted antigenic regions from each protein, enriched with repeats, were joined in various combinations to generate a total of seventeen chimeric genes optimized for prokaryotic expression. These were assessed for optimal expression and purification yield, with four chimeric proteins being efficiently produced. Their diagnostic potential was then evaluated through ELISA assays with sera from VL afflicted humans and dogs. After two rounds of gene design, the results showed high levels of sensitivity for the best chimeric protein, named Q5, in humans (82%) and dogs (100%) with 100% specificity in comparison with healthy controls. A single non-specific reaction was seen with serum from individuals with tegumentary leishmaniasis.

Conclusion: The newly described chimeric protein is potentially useful for the detection of both humans and dogs afflicted with VL, with its use in rapid tests necessary for validation as a new diagnostic tool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008488DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7410341PMC
July 2020

Performance evaluation of anti-fixed Leishmania infantum promastigotes immunoglobulin G (IgG) detected by flow cytometry as a diagnostic tool for visceral Leishmaniasis.

J Immunol Methods 2019 06 25;469:18-25. Epub 2019 Feb 25.

Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz-Pernambuco), Instituto Aggeu Magalhães, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a severe disease, caused by the protozoans Leishmania infantum and L. donovani that is widely diagnosed using serological tools. These, however, have limitations in performance that limit their use for the correct identification of the cases. This study aimed to evaluate the performance of flow cytometry with fixed parasites for VL diagnosis, comparing it with four other serological tests. Samples from two endemic VL regions in Brazil, diagnosed by direct examination (DG1) and by at least two or one standard serological test (DG2 and DG3, respectively), as well as patients with chronic Chagas' disease (CG1) and healthy controls (CG2) were used in this study. The flow cytometry results were expressed as levels of IgG reactivity, based on the percentage of positive fluorescent parasites (PPFP). Using a 1:4096 serum dilution, a ROC curve analysis of the serum titration on flow cytometry has indicated a PPFP of 2% as the cutoff point to segregate positive and negative results. In the present study, flow cytometry had the best performance for DG1 (sensitivity of 96%) while rK39 (imunocromagraphic rapid test) and DAT (Direct agglutination test) were also associated with high sensitivity and specificity. The substantial agreement and kappa indexes observed suggested similar performances between these two tests and flow cytometry. IFAT (Immunofluorescent antibody test) and ELISA (Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) had lower performances and the lower values of agreement with flow cytometry. Together, these findings suggest that although adjustments are needed in order to reduce cross reactivity with other trypanosomatids, flow cytometry has the potential to be a safe serological alternative for the diagnosis of VL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2019.02.009DOI Listing
June 2019

Evaluation of a new set of recombinant antigens for the serological diagnosis of human and canine visceral leishmaniasis.

PLoS One 2017 28;12(9):e0184867. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz-Pernambuco), Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.

Current strategies for the control of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (VL) rely on its efficient diagnosis in both human and canine hosts. The most promising and cost effective approach is based on serologic assays with recombinant proteins. However, no single antigen has been found so far which can be effectively used to detect the disease in both dogs and humans. In previous works, we identified Leishmania infantum antigens with potential for the serodiagnosis of VL. Here, we aimed to expand the panel of the available antigens for VL diagnosis through another screening of a genomic expression library. Seven different protein-coding gene fragments were identified, five of which encoding proteins which have not been previously studied in Leishmania and rich in repetitive motifs. Poly-histidine tagged polypeptides were generated from six genes and evaluated for their potential for diagnosis of VL by ELISA (Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay) with sera from infected humans and dogs. None of those was valid for the detection of human VL (26-52% sensitivity) although their performance was increased in the canine sera (48-91% sensitivity), with one polypeptide useful for the diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis. Next, we assayed a mixture of three antigens, found to be best for human or canine VL, among 13 identified through different screenings. This "Mix" resulted in similar levels of sensitivity for both human (84%) and canine (88%) sera. With improvements, this validates the use of multiple proteins, including antigens identified here, as components of a single system for the diagnosis of both forms of leishmaniasis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0184867PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5619722PMC
October 2017