Compositions and Methods for Detecting Loa loa

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


    Thomas Nutman (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

    Sasisekha Bennuru (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

    Papa Drame (NIAID)  ➽ more inventions...

    Intellectual Property:
    U.S. Pat: 10,598,655 issued 2020-03-24
    US Application No. 62/153,654
    US Application No. 15/569,507

    Drame PM, et al. PMID 26884435

    Collaboration Opportunity:

    The Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Office (TTIPO) is seeking parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate or commercialize for development a diagnostic means for detecting Loa loa microfilaria-specific antigens. For collaboration opportunities, please contact James M. Robinson or 301-761-7542.

    Licensing Contact:
    Christopher Kornak, J.D.
    Phone: 240-627-3705

    OTT Reference No: E-140-2015-0
    Updated: Apr 20, 2017