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Rapid and Highly Sensitive DNA Flow Technology Platform to Detect Tick-Borne Bacterial Pathogens in Clinical Samples

Jado, Isabel, Escudero, Raquel, Espigares, Belén, Lara, Ester, Rodriguez-Vargas, Manuela, Garcia-Amil, Cristina, Lobo, Bruno, Rodriguez-Moreno, Isabel, Toledo, Alvaro
Vector borne and zoonotic diseases 2020 v.20 no.2 pp. 107-116
DNA, Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, animal pathogens, bacteria, cost effectiveness, detection limit, diagnostic techniques, disease transmission, fever, humans, patients, rickettsial diseases, screening, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), ticks, zoonoses, Spain
Zoonotic diseases represent a significant public health concern worldwide due to the emergence/re-emergence of vector-borne diseases in the last decade. Ticks are the most important vectors in the northern hemisphere and can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and spotted fever rickettsioses, among others. Therefore, there is a growing need to develop better and faster diagnostic tools that can detect zoonotic human pathogens in clinical samples. In this study, we present the results for a new kit tick-borne bacteria flow chip (TBFC), which allows the simultaneous screening of seven different bacterial pathogens in human samples using a DNA flow technology platform (hybriSpot system). The analytical sensitivity and specificity of the TBFC were calculated spiking bacterial DNA in human DNA samples, and the results were compared with an in-house single PCR-reverse line blot (RLB) routinely used for diagnosis at the National Center for Microbiology in Spain. The analytical sensitivity and specificity of the TBFC were almost identical to the PCR-RLBs used in diagnosis. In addition, samples from patients (n = 212) with a wide range of clinical signs/symptoms consistent with multisystem disorders suggestive of a tick-borne infection were tested using the TBFC, and the results were compared with those obtained by PCR-RLB. The concordance of both methods using patient samples was 97.2%. The TBFC kit is a rapid new and cost-efficient diagnostic molecular tool capable of detecting tick-borne pathogens in clinical samples.