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Expanding molecular diagnostics of helminthiasis: Piloting use of the GPLN platform for surveillance of soil transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis in Ghana

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Cunningham, Lucas, Odoom, John, Pratt, Deborah, Boatemaa, Linda, Asante-Ntim, Nana, Attiku, Keren, Banahene, Bismarck, Osei-Atweneboana, Mike, Verweij, Jaco, Molyneux, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8537-7947, Stothard, Russell ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9370-3420 and Adams, Emily ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0816-2835 (2018) 'Expanding molecular diagnostics of helminthiasis: Piloting use of the GPLN platform for surveillance of soil transmitted helminthiasis and schistosomiasis in Ghana'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 12, Issue 1, e0006129.

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Abstract

The efforts to control and eradicate polio as a global health burden have been successful to the point where currently only three countries now report endemic polio, and the number of cases of polio continues to decrease. The success of the polio programme has been dependant on a well-developed network of laboratories termed the global polio laboratory network (GPLN). Here we explore collaborative opportunities with the GPLN to target two of the 18 diseases listed as a neglected tropical diseases (NTD) namely soil transmitted helminthiasis (STH) and Schistosomiasis (SCH). These were chosen based on prevalence and the use of faecal materials to identify both polio, STH and SCH. Our study screened 448 faecal samples from the Ghana GPLN using three triplex TaqMan assays to identify Ascaris lumbricoides, Necator americanus, Ancylostoma spp, Trichuris trchiura, Strongyloides stercoralis and Schistosoma spp. Our results found a combined helminth prevalence of 22%. The most common helminth infection was A. lumbricoides with a prevalence of 15% followed by N. americanus (5%), Ancylostoma spp. (2.5%), Schistosoma spp. (1.6%) and S. stercoralis (1%). These results show that it is possible to identify alternative pathogens to polio in the samples collected by the GPLN platform and to introduce new diagnostic assays to their laboratories. The diagnostic methods employed were also able to identify S. stercoralis positive samples, which are difficult to identify using parasitological methods such as Kato-Katz. This study raises the possibility of collaboration with the GPLN for the surveillance of a wider range of diseases which would both benefit the efforts to control the NTDs and also increase the scope of the GPLN as a diagnostic platform.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Helminths. Annelida > QX 200 Helminths
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > WC 20 Research (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 800 Helminthiasis
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 810 Schistosomiasis
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0006129
Depositing User: Mary Creegan
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2018 09:38
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2018 09:48
URI: http://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/7926

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