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The insufficiency of circulating miRNA and DNA as diagnostic tools or as biomarkers of treatment efficacy for Onchocerca volvulu

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Macfarlane, Cara ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8210-5823, Quek, Shannon, Pionnier, Nicolas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2379-4945, Turner, Joseph ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2185-5476, Wanji, Samuel, Wagstaff, Simon ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0577-5537 and Taylor, Mark ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3396-9275 (2020) 'The insufficiency of circulating miRNA and DNA as diagnostic tools or as biomarkers of treatment efficacy for Onchocerca volvulu'. Scientific Reports, Vol 10, Issue 6672.

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Abstract

Skin snip evaluation for onchocerciasis has insufficient sensitivity when skin microfilarial (mf) densities are low, such as following ivermectin treatment. Mf density is suitable for assessing microfilaricidal efficacy but only serves as an indirect indicator of macrofilaricidal activity. We assessed circulating nucleic acids from Onchocerca volvulus as an alternative to skin snips. We screened a plasma sample set of infected individuals followed up at four, 12 and 21 months after microfilaricidal (ivermectin, n = four), macrofilaricidal (doxycycline, n = nine), or combination treatment (n = five). Two parasite-derived miRNAs, cel-miR-71-5p and bma-lin-4, and O-150 repeat DNA were assessed. Highly abundant DNA repeat families identified in the O. volvulus genome were also evaluated. miRNAs were detected in two of 72 plasma samples (2.8%) and two of 47 samples (4.3%) with microfilaridermia using RT-qPCR. O-150 DNA was detected in eight (44.4%) baseline samples by qPCR and the number of positives declined post-treatment. One doxycycline-treated individual remained O-150 positive. However, only 11 (23.4%) samples with microfilaridermia were qPCR-positive. Analysis by qPCR showed novel DNA repeat families were comparatively less abundant than the O-150 repeat. Circulating parasite-derived nucleic acids are therefore insufficient as diagnostic tools or as biomarkers of treatment efficacy for O. volvulus.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QU Biochemistry > Proteins. Amino Acids. Peptides > QU 58.5 DNA.
QU Biochemistry > Proteins. Amino Acids. Peptides > QU 58.7 RNA
QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 301 Filarioidea
QX Parasitology > QX 4 General works
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63249-4
Depositing User: Claire McIntyre
Date Deposited: 14 May 2020 11:57
Last Modified: 14 May 2020 11:57
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/14443

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