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Compositions and Methods for Detecting Loa Loa

The inventors analyzed samples from Loa loa infected patients and uninfected controls, and have identified Loa loa microfilaria-specific antigens.The pending application claims a variety of means of detecting these antigens.

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Loa loa is a filarial nematode estimated to infect 3-13 million people in Central and Western Africa. In parts of Africa, mass administration of ivermectin is common for onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis control. However, some individuals infected with Loa loa microfilariae in high densities are known to experience post-ivermectin severe adverse events, such as encephalopathy, coma, or even death. Therefore, diagnostic tools that can accurately identify and differentiate Loa loa microfilariae from other filarial infections are needed. Microscopic evaluation of blood samples is the only current diagnostic method used to detect Loa loa microfilaremia in endemic areas, and is impractical for widespread screening. Molecular based assays are useful and are quantitative, but require the use of sophisticated instrumentation.

The inventors analyzed samples from Loa loa infected patients and uninfected controls, and have identified Loa loa microfilaria-specific antigens.The pending application claims a variety of means of detecting these antigens.

Potential Commercial Applications:

  • Diagnostics

Competitive Advantages:

  • Highly specific to Loa loa microfilariae
  • Highly sensitive
  • Both diagnostic and quantitative
  • Works with blood, urine, or saliva sample

Development Stage:

  • Pre-Clinical

Inventors:Thomas B. Nutman, NIAID, NIH; Sasisekhar Bennuru, NIAID, NIH; and Papa Makhtar Drame, NIAID, NIH.

Publications:Drame, Papa, et al. 2016. Identification and Validation of Loa loa Microfilaria-Specific Biomarkers: a Rational Design Approach Using Proteomics and Novel Immunoassays. mBio, vol. 7 no. 1 e02132-15.

Intellectual Property:HHS Reference No. E-140-2015/0 - US Provisional Patent Application No. 62/153,654 filed April 28, 2015; PCT Patent Application No. PCT/US2016/029673 filed April 28, 2016.


Licensing and Collaborative Research Opportunity:The Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO) is seeking parties interested in licensing or collaborative research to further co-develop this technology. For opportunities, please contact James M. Robinson, 301-761-7542; James.Robinson4@nih.gov.

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NIAID Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office

NIAID’s technology transfer office, TTIPO, is a one-stop resource for organizations interested in partnering with NIAID to access, develop, and manage the translation of research discoveries into medically beneficial products. TTIPO seeks to expand NIAID’s innovation pipeline with existing and new partners in areas such as newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (e.g., dengue, Zika, Ebola, influenza, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and HIV/AIDS), biodefense (e.g., smallpox and anthrax), and immune-mediated diseases (e.g., asthma and allergy).

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