An evaluation of Wb123 antibody elisa in individuals treated with ivermectin and albendazole, and implementation challenges in Africa
The development of antibody testing for the diagnosis of lymphatic filariasis (LF) is intended to enhance the monitoring and evaluation activities of the Global Program for the Elimination of LF. This is due to the fact that antibody tests are expected to be the most sensitive at detecting exposure to LF compared to antigen that takes longer to develop. To this end a new antibody-based enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to Wuchereria bancrofti antigen Wb123 has been developed and further designed into a point of care rapid diagnostic test, under evaluation. In pretreatment surveys, individuals were tested for antigen using the immuno-chromatographic test (ICT) card, and night blood microfilariae, after which all positives were treated using Ivermectin and Albendazole. The Wb123 ELISA was tested in antigen positive individuals, three months after they were treated. Samples were also tested for ICT and night blood microfilariae. The results revealed a reduction in microfilariae and ICT prevalence after treatment. Antigen and antibody prevalence increased with age. However, there was no correlation with the antibody responses observed. The mean WB123 antibody titers were higher among ICT positives, but not significantly different from ICT negative persons. While the Wb123 is targeted for use in untreated populations, further evaluations and guidelines will be required to define its use in populations that have undergone treatment for the control of LF.
Keywords: Lymphatic filariasis, elephantiasis, antigen, antibody, Wb123, Ghana