Background: Leptospirosis is a re-emerging infectious disease that is under-recognized due to low-sensitivity and cumbersome serological tests. MAT is the gold standard test and it is the only serogroup specific test used till date. Rapid reliable alternative serogroup specific tests are needed for surveillance studies to identify locally circulating serogroups in the study area. Methods/Principal Findings: In the present investigation the serological specificity of leptospiral lipopolysaccharides (LPS) was evaluated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), dot blot assay and rapid immunochromatography based lateral flow assay (ICG-LFA). Sera samples from 120 MAT positive cases, 174 cases with febrile illness other than leptospirosis, and 121 seronegative healthy controls were evaluated for the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of the developed assays. LPS was extracted from five locally predominant circulating serogroups including: Australis (27.5%), Autumnalis (11.7%), Ballum (25.8%), Grippotyphosa (12.5%), Pomona (10%) and were used as antigens in the diagnostics to detect IgM antibodies in patients' sera. The sensitivity observed by IgM ELISA and dot blot assay using various leptospiral LPS was >90% for homologous sera. Except for Ballum LPS, no other LPS showed cross-reactivity to heterologous sera. An attempt was made to develop LPS based ICGLFA for rapid and sensitive serogroup specific diagnostics of leptospirosis. The developed ICG-LFA showed sensitivity in the range between 93 and 100% for homologous sera. The Wilcoxon analysis showed LPS based ICG-LFA did not differ significantly from the gold standard MAT (P>0.05). Conclusion: The application of single array of LPS for serogroup specific diagnosis is first of its kind. The developed assay could potentially be evaluated and employed for as MAT alternative.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)