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2.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 15(4): e0009314, 2021 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33857134

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted helminth (STH) that affects approximately 600 million people worldwide. Interventions targeting S. stercoralis have not been implemented yet. Specific treatment (ivermectin) could be included in already ongoing preventive chemotherapy (PC) campaigns targeting other STHs. The aim of this study was to estimate the quantity of ivermectin needed for an integrated STH/S. stercoralis control program. METHODODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our study estimates the number of school- age children (SAC) (the main focus of STH deworming campaigns) in need of PC with ivermectin. The normal approximation of the binomial distribution was adopted to calculate the hypothetical prevalence distribution in each endemic country. Considering prevalence thresholds for PC equal to 10%, 15%, and 20%, we estimated the number of SAC in need of treatment. We adjusted the estimates accounting for ivermectin distributed in lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis elimination programs and excluded from our calculation areas where Loa loa is endemic. The global number of SAC that should be targeted in PC campaigns was estimated at 283.9 M (95% CI: 163.4-368.8), 207.2 M (95% CI: 160.9-380.7), and 160.7 M (95% CI: 86.6-225.7) when the threshold for intervention was set to 10%, 15%, and 20%, respectively. India, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Nigeria accounted for about 50% of the global SAC would have to be covered by PC intervention. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our analysis may support endemic countries to evaluate the ivermectin quantity needed for integrating strongyloidiasis in the existing STH programs. These estimates might also show to generic drug manufacturers the size of the potential market for ivermectin and encourage its production.

3.
Acta Trop ; 219: 105893, 2021 Apr 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33872586

RESUMO

Over 90% of schistosomiasis infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa. A rapid ICT test would be a cheap and easy tool that could be used also in the field. We preliminarily evaluated the performance of a new Schistosoma black-latex based IgG-IgM ICT (Black-ICT) on serum samples. The results indicate a high sensitivity (98.0%) but the specificity depends on the application of a cut-off value that can discriminate between positive and negative samples. Considering a possible direct application of this test on blood from finger prick, the results are promising, providied that a signal intensity scale is developed, guiding the result interpretation.

4.
Genomics ; 113(4): 1628-1638, 2021 Apr 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33839270

RESUMO

Sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 genome from clinical samples can be challenging, especially in specimens with low viral titer. Here we report Accurate SARS-CoV-2 genome Reconstruction (ACoRE), an amplicon-based viral genome sequencing workflow for the complete and accurate reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 sequences from clinical samples, including suboptimal ones that would usually be excluded even if unique and irreplaceable. The protocol was optimized to improve flexibility and the combination of technical replicates was established as the central strategy to achieve accurate analysis of low-titer/suboptimal samples. We demonstrated the utility of the approach by achieving complete genome reconstruction and the identification of false-positive variants in >170 clinical samples, thus avoiding the generation of inaccurate and/or incomplete sequences. Most importantly, ACoRE was crucial to identify the correct viral strain responsible of a relapse case, that would be otherwise mis-classified as a re-infection due to missing or incorrect variant identification by a standard workflow.

5.
Microorganisms ; 9(2)2021 Feb 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33671980

RESUMO

Strongyloides stercoralis infection is a life-threatening neglected tropical disease. Diagnostic issues have caused an underestimation of its global burden. The choice of appropriate diagnostic tests for the screening of populations at risk of the infection, such as migrants from endemic countries, is of paramount importance. From November 2017 to July 2018, all migrants presenting to the National Institute for Health Migration and Poverty (INMP) in Rome, Italy were offered screening tests for S. stercoralis infection. The study objective was to estimate the prevalence of strongyloidiasis in the study population and the accuracy of a novel ELISA assay. The following tests were carried out at the IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria hospital in Negrar, Verona: stool microscopy, real-time PCR for S. stercoralis, in-house immunofluorescence test (IFAT), a commercial ELISA assay (Bordier ELISA), and a novel ELISA assay (Euroimmun ELISA). A latent class analysis (LCA) model set up with test results, clinical variables, and eosinophilia indicated a prevalence around 7.5%, in line with previous findings. The sensitivity and the specificity of Euroimmun ELISA were 90.6% (95% CI 80.5-100) and 87.7% (95CI 84.5-91.0); these results indicate that the novel ELISA assay would be suitable for screening of migrants from endemic countries.

6.
Acta Trop ; 216: 105838, 2021 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33484727

RESUMO

Infections with the filarial nematodes Loa loa and Mansonella perstans are among the most neglected filarial infections. L. loa is endemic in 11 countries of Central and West Africa and loiasis is estimated to affect about 20 million people. M. perstans infection is widespread in more than 30 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Due to the difficulty in diagnosing loiasis and M. perstans mansonellosis on a clinical basis, the diagnosis of infection with L. loa and M. perstans relies on laboratory techniques. Definitive diagnosis is based on the detection, identification, and quantification of circulating microfilariae (mf) by microscopy of concentrated blood. However, this is impractical for screening purposes as it requires expert laboratory personnel, considerable blood manipulation, and is time consuming, especially for the final issue of negative result reports, which are very common in the population visited outside endemic areas. The aim of the current work is the preliminary evaluation of the performance of the in-house real-time PCR described by Ta and colleagues compared to the routine microscopic approach for the screening of filarial infections in the clinical setting outside endemic areas, using samples from patients accessing the dedicated outpatient clinics for migrants and travelers of a reference centre for tropical diseases in Northern Italy.

7.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33466374

RESUMO

Psychological distress imposed by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak particularly affects patients with pre-existing medical conditions, and the progression of their diseases. Patients who fail to keep scheduled medical appointments experience a negative impact on care. The aim of this study is to investigate the psychosocial factors contributing to the cancellation of medical appointments during the pandemic by patients with pre-existing health conditions. Data were collected in eleven Italian hospitals during the last week of lockdown, and one month later. In order to assess the emotional impact of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and the subject's degree of psychological flexibility, we developed an ad hoc questionnaire (ImpACT), referring to the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) model. The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) and the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (CFQ) were also used. Pervasive dysfunctional use of experiential avoidance behaviours (used with the function to avoid thought, emotions, sensations), feelings of loneliness and high post-traumatic stress scores were found to correlate with the fear of COVID-19, increasing the likelihood of cancelling medical appointments. Responding promptly to the information and psychological needs of patients who cancel medical appointments can have positive effects in terms of psychological and physical health.


Assuntos
Agendamento de Consultas , Pacientes/psicologia , Angústia Psicológica , Surtos de Doenças , Humanos , Itália/epidemiologia , Estresse Psicológico/epidemiologia , Inquéritos e Questionários
8.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(1)2020 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33261716

RESUMO

We used random sampling to estimate the prevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection in Verona, Italy. Of 1,515 participants, 2.6% tested positive by serologic assay and 0.7% by reverse transcription PCR. We used latent class analysis to estimate a 3.0% probability of infection and 2.0% death rate.

9.
BMJ Open ; 10(10): e040036, 2020 10 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33028562

RESUMO

INTRODUCTION: As of 30 April 2020, the novel betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had infected more than 3 172 000 individuals, killing over 224 000 people and spreading to more than 200 countries. Italy was the most affected country in Europe and the third most affected in the world in terms of the number of cases. Therefore, the aims of this study are: (1) to estimate the prevalence of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals among the general population of Verona; (2) to assess the accuracy (sensitivity, specificity and predictive values) of an ELISA serological test for the screening of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study will be carried out on a random sample of subjects aged at least 10 years from the general population of Verona. Participants will undergo the measurement of vital parameters (oxygen saturation measured by oximeter, respiratory rate and body temperature detected by laser thermometer), the administration of a COVID-19-related symptoms questionnaire, the collection of a blood sample and a nasopharyngeal swab. Our evaluation will include the statistical technique of Latent Class Analysis, which will be the basis for the estimation of prevalence. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study protocol has been approved by the Ethics Committee of Verona and Rovigo provinces on 15 April 2020 (internal protocol number 2641CESC). The study results will be submitted for publication in international, peer-reviewed journals and the complete dataset will be deposited in a public repository. Most relevant data will be made available to policy-makers as well as disseminated to stakeholders and to the community.


Assuntos
Infecções Assintomáticas/epidemiologia , Infecções por Coronavirus/diagnóstico , Infecções por Coronavirus/epidemiologia , Programas de Rastreamento/métodos , Pandemias , Pneumonia Viral/diagnóstico , Pneumonia Viral/epidemiologia , Testes Sorológicos/métodos , Adulto , Anticorpos Antivirais/sangue , Betacoronavirus , Criança , Protocolos Clínicos , Infecções por Coronavirus/sangue , Infecções por Coronavirus/virologia , Estudos Transversais , Ensaio de Imunoadsorção Enzimática/métodos , Humanos , Imunoglobulinas/sangue , Itália , Pneumonia Viral/sangue , Pneumonia Viral/virologia , Prevalência , Projetos de Pesquisa , Sensibilidade e Especificidade , Síndrome Respiratória Aguda Grave
10.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33059091

RESUMO

OBJECTIVES: In Italy the burden of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) gradually decreased from March to the end of May. In this work we aimed to evaluate a possible association between the severity of clinical manifestations and viral load over time during the epidemiological transition from high-to low-transmission settings. METHODS: We reviewed the cases of COVID-19 diagnosed at the emergency room of our hospital, retrieving the proportion of patients admitted to the intensive care unit. A raw estimation of the viral load was done evaluating the Ct (cycle threshold) trend obtained from our diagnostic reverse transcriptase real-time PCR test. RESULTS: The proportion of patients requiring intensive care significantly decreased from 6.7% (19/281) in March to 1.1% (1/86) in April, and to none in May (Fisher's test p 0.0067). As for viral load, we observed a trend of Ct increasing from a median value of 24 (IQR 19-29) to 34 (IQR 29-37) between March and May, with a statistically significant difference between March and April (pairwise Wilcoxon test with stepdown Bonferroni adjustment for multiple testing, p 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: We observed a reduction over time in the proportion of patients with COVID-19 requiring intensive care, along with decreasing median values of viral load. As the epidemiological context changes from high-to low-transmission settings, people are presumably exposed to a lower viral load which has been previously associated with less severe clinical manifestations.

11.
Parasit Vectors ; 13(1): 515, 2020 Oct 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33059754

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Strongyloidiasis caused by Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted helminthiasis affecting an estimated 370 million people and considered one of the most neglected tropical diseases. Although mostly distributed in tropical and subtropical areas, autochthonous infections have also been documented in north-eastern Italy, even though the transmission presumably stopped decades ago. Because of its peculiar auto-infective cycle, strongyloidiasis can persist lifelong, but the pathophysiological mechanisms associated with the maintenance of such a chronic infection are yet to be fully deciphered. METHODS: Serum levels of 23 immune factors were retrospectively assessed in a subgroup of participants in a randomised clinical trial for the treatment of strongyloidiasis (Strong Treat). Here we included Italian subjects born between 1931 and 1964 and diagnosed with strongyloidiasis between 2013 and 2017 (Ss+, n = 32). Serum samples obtained before (BT) and 6 months (6M AT) after ivermectin treatment, as well as from age- and gender-matched uninfected controls (CTRL, n = 34) were analysed. RESULTS: The assessed immune factors showed a general reduced concertation in Ss+ patients and a lack of association with eosinophilia. In our cohort, we did not observe the classical shift towards a type 2 immune response, since Th1 and Th2 cytokines were mostly unaltered. Instead, we observed chemokines as particularly affected by the presence of the parasite, since IL-8, CCL3, CCL4 and CCL5 were significantly reduced in concentration in Ss+ subjects compared to CTRL, suggesting that immune cell recruitment to the infection site might be dampened in these patients. This observation was further sustained by a significant increase of CCL4, CCL5 and CCL11 concentrations 6M AT. A significant raised systemic concentration of three growth factors, bFGF, PDGF-BB and IL-7 (haematopoietic growth factor) was also observed post-treatment, indicating a potential involvement in restoring tissue integrity and homeostasis following parasite elimination. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary data suggest that, in order to survive for such a long period, S. stercoralis might suppress host responses that could otherwise result in its ejection. Our results offer novel insights in the potential mechanisms of disease tolerance that might take place during this chronic infection, including a potential T-cell hypo-responsiveness and a role for chemokines.

12.
Orphanet J Rare Dis ; 15(1): 291, 2020 10 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33066818

RESUMO

INTRODUCTION: In the current mobility and globalization context, there is a growing need to identify potential changes on the pattern of diseases in the European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) and provide accurate diagnosis and treatment for the population. The pattern of rare communicable diseases that can affect people returning to EU/EEA from travel abroad, visiting EU/EEA or establishing in the EU/EEA is of special relevance. The objective of this manuscript is to give an overview about the EURaDMoG study and discuss the feasibility of establishing a European network on rare communicable diseases and other rare conditions linked to mobility and globalization. METHODS: We undertook a three-steps process where we first conducted a narrative review to estimate the prevalence and incidence and to list rare communicable and non-communicable diseases linked to mobility and globalization in the EU/EEA; second, we organized an international consultation workshop with experts in the diseases previously selected; and finally, the feasibility study analysed how successful a European expert network on rare diseases linked to mobility and globalization focused on health care provision would be, accounting for different operational and also sustainability criteria. RESULTS: First, considering the areas or topics that the network should cover, it was concluded that communicable and non-communicable rare diseases linked to mobility and globalization should be differentiated. Second, since all non-communicable rare diseases linked to mobility and globalization identified are already covered by different European Reference Networks (ERNs), there is no need for them to be included in a new European network. Three scenarios were considered for establishing a potential European network for rare communicable diseases linked to Mobility and Globalisation with a focus on Health Care provision: 1) To maintain the current situation "Status Quo" scenario; 2) to create a specific European expert network (EEN) on rare communicable diseases linked to mobility and globalisation; 3) to develop a new ERN on communicable rare diseases linked to mobility and globalisation. CONCLUSIONS: Since the focus is the provision of health care, an ERN could have the potential to better boost the quality of care being facilitated by technological tools and online platforms that permit the safe and ethically acceptable exchange of data. However, this potential new network should not eclipse current existing networks and they should be complementary.

13.
Diagnostics (Basel) ; 10(9)2020 Sep 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32899333

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: We assessed the sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive value (PPV and NPV) of molecular and serological tests for the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: A total of 346 patients were enrolled in the emergency room. We evaluated three Reverse Transcriptase-real time PCRs (RT-PCRs) including six different gene targets, five serologic rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) and one ELISA. The final classification of infected/non-infected patients was performed using Latent Class Analysis combined with clinical re-assessment of incongruous cases. RESULTS: Out of these, 24.6% of patients were classified as infected. The molecular test RQ-SARS-nCoV-2 showed the highest performance with 91.8% sensitivity, 100% specificity, 100.0% PPV and 97.4% NPV respectively. Considering the single gene targets, S and RdRp of RQ-SARS-nCoV-2 had the highest sensitivity (94.1%). The in-house RdRp presented the lowest sensitivity (62.4%). The specificity ranged from 99.2% for in-house RdRp and N2 to 95.0% for E. The PPV ranged from 97.1% of N2 to 85.4% of E and the NPV from 98.1% of S to 89.0% of in-house RdRp. All serological tests had < 50% sensitivity and low PPV and NPV. VivaDiag IgM (RDT) had 98.5% specificity, with 84.0% PPV, but 24.7% sensitivity. CONCLUSION: Molecular tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection showed excellent specificity, but significant differences in sensitivity. Serological tests have limited utility in a clinical context.

15.
J Clin Gastroenterol ; 54(9): 747-757, 2020 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32890112

RESUMO

Strongyloides stercoralis is a soil-transmitted helminth, but it has a unique life cycle that can be completed in the human host, in a process known as autoinfection. Worldwide, the burden of disease is substantial (300 to 400 million infections). Strongyloidiasis is mainly prevalent in the tropics and subtropics, but there is as yet no global public health strategy for controlling the parasite.

16.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(5): 1797-1802, 2020 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32901594

RESUMO

In low- and middle-income countries, in resource-limited settings, the implementation of diagnostic tools discriminating bacterial from nonbacterial fever is a matter of primary concern. The introduction of malaria rapid diagnostic tests highlighted the need for point-of-care tests (POCTs) supporting clinical decision-making for non-malarial febrile illnesses. The purpose of this work was to review the use of host biomarker POCTs for the assessment of acute non-malarial fever in resource-constraint settings. Specific objectives were as follows: 1) to estimate the accuracy of such tests in differentiating fever of bacterial from nonbacterial origin and 2) to assess the impact of host biomarkers on antibiotic prescription and clinical outcome. We conducted a systematic review searching PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and Bireme. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (n CRD42019141735). Data on the accuracy of C-reactive protein (CRP) for the detection of bacterial infections were meta-analyzed using the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic model, obtaining a summary ROC (SROC). We identified 2,192 articles, eight of which were included in the review. Among the different biomarkers evaluated, CRP was the one most frequently studied. The SROC presented an area under the curve = 0.77 (CI: 0.73-0.81), which indicates good accuracy to distinguish bacterial from nonbacterial infections. However, the optimal cutoff of CRP could not be assessed, and we found insufficient evidence about its impact on antibiotic prescription and clinical outcome. The role of CRP and other host biomarker POCTs for the assessment of acute non-malarial febrile illnesses in resource-constraint settings deserves further studies.


Assuntos
Proteína C-Reativa/metabolismo , Febre/diagnóstico , Sistemas Automatizados de Assistência Junto ao Leito , Biomarcadores/sangue , Biomarcadores/metabolismo , Testes Diagnósticos de Rotina , Humanos
17.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 14(8): e0008505, 2020 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32776942

RESUMO

Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are the most widespread of the neglected tropical diseases, primarily affecting marginalized populations in low- and middle-income countries. More than one billion people are currently infected with STHs. For the control of these infections, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends an integrated approach, which includes access to appropriate sanitation, hygiene education, and preventive chemotherapy (i.e., large-scale, periodic distribution of anthelmintic drugs). Since 2010, WHO has coordinated two large donations of benzimidazoles to endemic countries. Thus far, more than 3.3 billion benzimidazole tablets have been distributed in schools for the control of STH infections, resulting in an important reduction in STH-attributable morbidity in children, while additional tablets have been distributed for the control of lymphatic filariasis. This paper (i) summarizes the progress of global STH control between 2008 to 2018 (based on over 690 reports submitted by endemic countries to WHO); (ii) provides regional and country details on preventive chemotherapy coverage; and (iii) indicates the targets identified by WHO for the next decade and the tools that should be developed to attain these targets. The main message is that STH-attributable morbidity can be averted with evidence-informed program planning, implementation, and monitoring. Caution will still need to be exercised in stopping control programs to avoid any rebound of prevalence and loss of accrued morbidity gains. Over the next decade, with increased country leadership and multi-sector engagement, the goal of eliminating STH infections as a public health problem can be achieved.


Assuntos
Anti-Helmínticos/uso terapêutico , Saúde Global/tendências , Helmintíase/prevenção & controle , Solo/parasitologia , Organização Mundial da Saúde , Anti-Helmínticos/administração & dosagem , Humanos , Fatores Socioeconômicos
18.
Microorganisms ; 8(8)2020 Jul 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32722218

RESUMO

Leprosy is a chronic neglected infectious disease that affects over 200,000 people each year and causes disabilities in more than four million people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The disease can appear with a wide spectrum of clinical forms, and therefore the clinical suspicion is often difficult. Refugees and migrants from endemic countries affected by leprosy can remain undiagnosed in Europe due to the unpreparedness of clinicians. We retrospectively describe the characteristics of 55 refugees/migrants with a diagnosis of leprosy established in Italy from 2009 to 2018. Continents of origin were Africa (42%), Asia (40%), and South and Central America (18%). The symptoms reported were skin lesions (91%), neuropathy (71%), edema (7%), eye involvement (6%), fever (6%), arthritis (4%), and lymphadenopathy (4%). Seven patients (13%) had irreversible complications. Overall, 35% were relapses and 66% multibacillary leprosy. Furthermore, we conducted a review of 17 case reports or case series and five nationwide reports, published in the same decade, describing 280 migrant patients with leprosy in Europe. In Europe, leprosy is a rare chronic infectious disease, but it has not completely disappeared. Diagnosis and treatment of leprosy in refugees and migrants from endemic countries are a challenge. European guidelines for this neglected disease in this high-risk population would be beneficial.

19.
Lancet Infect Dis ; 20(8): e204-e214, 2020 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32569624

RESUMO

Neurocysticercosis, the infection of the CNS with larval cysts of Taenia solium, is a leading cause of seizures in low-income countries. The clinical presentation of neurocysticercosis is variable and depends on the number, size, and location of cysticerci, and on the immune response of the host. In most patients, the affected site is the brain parenchyma, where cysts can precipitate seizures. Neurocysticercosis has seldom been described in pregnant women. In this Grand Round, we report two cases of pregnant women who immigrated to Italy from Bolivia and Ecuador, and who developed seizures in the early post-partum period, due to calcified parenchymal neurocysticercosis lesions. We discuss the complex interactions between neurocysticercosis and the immune system in pregnancy and the post-partum period. Building on this scenario, we propose practices for the management of neurocysticercosis in pregnancy and the post-partum period, highlighting important gaps in the literature that should be addressed.


Assuntos
Anticonvulsivantes/uso terapêutico , Neurocisticercose/complicações , Convulsões/tratamento farmacológico , Convulsões/etiologia , Adulto , Anti-Inflamatórios/uso terapêutico , Dexametasona/uso terapêutico , Feminino , Humanos , Período Pós-Parto
20.
Pathogens ; 9(6)2020 Jun 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32560386

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: The estimation of Plasmodium falciparum parasitaemia can vary according to the method used. Recently, droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) has been proposed as a promising approach in the molecular quantitation of Plasmodium, but its ability to predict the actual parasitaemia on clinical samples has not been largely investigated. Moreover, the possibility of applying the ddPCR-sensitive method to serum samples has never been explored. METHODS: We used, for the first time, ddPCR on both blood and serum to detect the DNA of P. falciparum in 52 paired samples from 26 patients. ddPCR was compared with loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and rtPCR. The correlation between the ddPCR results, microscopy, and clinical parameters was examined. RESULTS: ddPCR and microscopy were found to be strongly correlated (ρ(26) = 0.83111, p < 0.0001) in blood. Samples deviating from the correlation were partially explained by clinical parameters. In serum samples, ddPCR revealed the best performance in detecting P. falciparum DNA, with 77% positive samples among malaria subjects. CONCLUSION: Absolute quantitation by ddPCR can be a flexible technique for Plasmodium detection, with potential application in the diagnosis of malaria. In particular, ddPCR is a powerful approach for Plasmodium DNA analysis on serum when blood samples are unavailable.

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