Point-of-care immunoassay for diagnosis of cryptococcosis in HIV/AIDS from whole blood
Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) kills more than 600,000 HIV-infected individuals globally per year, with the highest yearly incidence occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. There is a critical need for a simple diagnostic tool for cryptococcosis that can be used in resource-limited countries. An innovative cryptococcal antigen lateral flow assay (CrAg LFA) has been developed in order to address this need. The CrAg LFA has been shown to be effective for use with serum, plasma, cerebral spinal fluid, and urine specimens, but has not been optimized or evaluated for use with whole blood specimens, which is the ideal specimen type for resource limited countries with minimal laboratory infrastructure. The specific aims and anticipated results are the optimization of the CrAg LFA and the determination of the range of detection of CrAg in whole blood specimens. The success of this proposed study would have a profound public health impact, leading to earlier diagnosis of cryptococcosis and a reduction of CM-associated deaths.
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