Diagnostic Efficacy of Recombinase-Polymerase-Amplification Coupled with Lateral Flow Strip Reading in Patients with Cutaneous Leishmaniasis from the Amazonas Rainforest of Perú

Bruno L. Travi, Maxy B. Delos Santos, Thomas Shelite, Rocio P. Santos, Luis A. Rosales, Alejandro Castellanos-Gonzalez, Omar Saldarriaga, Peter C. Melby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is highly prevalent in rural and sylvatic regions of Latin America, with an estimated 55,000 annual cases. Diagnosis in resource-limited areas still relies on microscopy of dermal scrapings, while more sensitive methods like PCR are not attainable due to costs and lack of adequate health infrastructure. Isothermal amplification of Leishmania DNA can be performed without sophisticated equipment and training and may become a point of care (POC) test for health care centers with scarce resources. We evaluated the efficacy of recombinase-polymerase-Amplification (RPA-LF) to diagnose CL in 226 patients attending a clinic in Puerto Maldonado within the Peruvian Amazon basin. Conventional PCR targeting kinetoplast DNA (kDNA-PCR) was used as the gold standard. Eight of 226 patients were considered true negatives (microscopy, kDNA-PCR, and RPA-LF negative), while RPA-LF resulted positive in 186 of 204 kDNA-PCR positive patients, yielding 91.2% (confidence interval [CI] = 86.5-94.4%) sensitivity and 93% (CI 88.6-95.8%) positive predictive value. There were 14% (32/226) discrepant samples alternating positive and negative results in similar proportions between both tests. Quantitative PCR used to resolve the discrepancies suggested that they occurred in samples with scarce parasite numbers as determined by high cycle threshold (Ct) values (≥32; cutoff 35.5). Microscopy had the lowest sensitivity of all methods (45.4%). Nested real-Time PCR performed in 71 samples determined that Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis was highly prevalent (69/71), and Leishmania (Viannia) lainsoni was present in only two isolates. Results indicated that RPA-LF has POC potential for CL endemic areas, yet further simplification and optimization coupled with field validation will be necessary to confirm its broad applicability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • diagnosis
  • isothermal amplification
  • molecular detection
  • zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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