Diagnosis and effective treatment are cornerstones in the control of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT). Molecular tools such as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detect the parasite's DNA and are generally very sensitive and specific. However, PCR is not applicable in field settings because it requires a laboratory infrastructure and sophisticated equipment. A recently developed loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) has emerged as a simpler alternative to conventional molecular methods for the diagnosis of HAT. The test has been transformed into a diagnostic kit for qualitative detection of the parasite's DNA in clinical specimens, the Loopamp Trypanosoma brucei Detection Kit. In this study, we evaluated this kit in laboratory conditions on DNA extracted from blood samples of 142 patients, 97 suspects and 111 healthy endemic controls in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The test showed good diagnostic accuracy and excellent reproducibility. Given the practical advantages of LAMP over conventional nucleic acid methods these are promising results. Further studies are needed to assess the test's accuracy and feasibility in field conditions.
Mitashi, P.; Hasker, E.; Ngoyi, D.M.; Pyana, P.P.; Veerle, L.; Van der Veken, W.; Lutumba, P.; Büscher, P.; Boelaert, M.; Deborggraeve, S. Diagnostic Accuracy of Loopamp Trypanosoma brucei Detection Kit for Diagnosis of Human African Trypanosomiasis in Clinical Samples. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2013) 7 (10) e2504. [DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002504]