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Evaluating a point-of-care circulating cathodic antigen test (POC-CCA) to detect Schistosoma mansoni infections in a low endemic area in north-eastern Brazil

Bezerra, Fernando Schemelzer Moraes, Leal, Joames Kauffimann Freitas, Sousa, Mariana Silva, Pinheiro, Marta Cristhiany Cunha, Ramos, Alberto Novaes, Silva-Moraes, Vanessa, Katz, Naftale
Acta tropica 2018 v.182 pp. 264-270
Schistosoma mansoni, adults, antibodies, antigens, blood serum, diagnostic techniques, eggs, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, parasites, point-of-care systems, praziquantel, public health, schistosomiasis, urine, villages, Brazil
Schistosomiasis is still a public health problem in Brazil. The Kato-Katz test is the most frequently used diagnostic method for Schistosoma mansoni infection. However, it lacks sensitivity in areas of low prevalence. We have assessed the positivity rate of S. mansoni infection in Bananeiras, a village on Capistrano, Ceara, Brazil by performing a point-of-care test in urine to determine the circulating cathodic antigens (POC-CCA), and we compared the findings with those of the Kato-Katz technique for egg detection in stool and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for specific antibodies against adult worms (SWAP-ELISA) in serum before treatment (baseline). Additionally, the POC-CCA and Kato-Katz test results were compared at one and two years post-treatment, and only POC-CCA strips were utilised for follow-up testing on urine samples at 3–6 weeks. Only one sample of stool and urine was collected per event. Overall, 258 individuals were investigated at the baseline. The POC-CCA test detected 10 (3.9%) positive cases; however, this amount increased to 30 (11.6%) when considering trace readings as positive (t +), whereas the Kato-Katz method found only 4 (1.6%) positive cases and the SWAP-ELISA detected 105 (40.7%) positive cases. The consistency observed between a single POC-CCA (t +) or (t-) and the Kato-Katz (three slides) was poor (Kappa indexes <0.20). The highest positivity rate as determined by CCA and Kato-Katz was found in adults. At the baseline, a praziquantel treatment was administered to all individuals regardless of their infection status. According to the POC-CCA test, 93% of the previous positive cases became negative by the third week after the treatment; this rate reached 100% at the sixth week assessment. The follow-up showed that of the 175 individuals evaluated at one year post-treatment, only one (0.6%) showed ‘trace’ results, and all the individuals were negative for eggs in the stool. At two years, all 185 examined individuals were negative by the Kato-Katz method, and 11 (5.9%) presented traces by POC-CCA. Our results indicate that a single POC-CCA test reveals a significantly higher number of positive cases than the Kato-Katz technique for diagnosing S. mansoni in a low endemic setting, when trace results are considered as positive cases. Nevertheless, the true significance of the trace is not clear. These findings reinforce the need to associate different tools for improved schistosomiasis diagnosis in individuals with low parasite burdens.