A Comparative Study of ELISA versus Conventional Methods in Diagnosis of Microfilariae

Filariasis is a parasitic infection that has been known since antiquity. Elephantiasis, or painful, disfiguring swelling of the legs and genital organs, is a common late-stage symptom. Wucherer, a Brazilian physician who discovered microfilariae in chylous urine in 1868, gave the genus its name. Lymphatic filariasis is a terrible illness that affects more than 80 nations worldwide [1,2]. Approximately 1 billion people are at risk around the world. South and Central America, West and East Africa, the East Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific are all affected. W bancrofti is responsible for 90% of all filariasis cases worldwide [3].

The National Filaria Control Program [4], which was established in 1955, includes operational, training, and research components. Vector control, detection and treatment of filarial infections, and delimitation of endemic areas were the key strategies. In addition to the LF elimination campaign in India, this programme is still in place. Microfilaremia measurement is a well-known gold standard for demonstrating the impact of therapies, however it is not the best way of monitoring or surveillance due to the need for nocturnal blood collection and a somewhat insensitive test for infection [5].

Materials and Procedures: This study was conducted at the Govt General Hospital and Filaria Clinic in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh, with Ethical Permission granted.

Group I [Test] consisted of 90 samples obtained from patients at the Government General Hospital who had signs and symptoms of filariae. As controls, filarial control programme personnel collected 10 normal serum samples Group II [Normal Controls] and 10 normal serum samples Group III [Endemic Normal] from normal persons in endemic pockets who were smear negative.

Results: When the ELISA results were compared to the microfilariae detection by slide method, it was discovered that the slide method detected only two cases in each male and female, for a total of four cases. The remainder of the cases were detected as negative. The overall number of positive cases in the test group I was 53, while the total number of negative cases was 37, according to the ELISA method. When the same results were compared to the normal control samples, it was discovered that while all of the cases were reported as negative by the slide method, 7 out of the total 10 cases were found with antigens and antibodies to microfilariae by ELISA.

Discussion: In this work, we compared the findings of the traditional slide method of filarial detection vs the ELISA approach; we discovered that ELISA was considerably superior in detecting filariae antigen, antibodies, where the traditional slide methods failed to identify the microfilariae.

Conclusion: In the detection of all cases of microfilariae, ELISA is superior and cost effective. Because conventional methods may not be able to consistently identify microfilariae in all samples, ELISA should be employed to determine their existence, especially in Endemic areas.

Author(S) Details

Lakshmi Jyothi
Medicity Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India.

M. V. R. Reddy
Department JB Tropical Research Center, MGMIMS, Sevagram, India.

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