Direct transfer of HRPII-magnetic bead complexes to malaria rapid diagnostic tests significantly improves test sensitivity.

Malaria journal

PubMedID: 27495329

Ricks KM, Adams NM, Scherr TF, Haselton FR, Wright DW. Direct transfer of HRPII-magnetic bead complexes to malaria rapid diagnostic tests significantly improves test sensitivity. Malar J. 2016;15(1):399.
BACKGROUND
The characteristic ease of use, rapid time to result, and low cost of malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) promote their widespread use at the point-of-care for malaria detection and surveillance. However, in many settings, the success of malaria elimination campaigns depends on point-of-care diagnostics with greater sensitivity than currently available RDTs. To address this need, a sample preparation method was developed to deliver more biomarkers onto a malaria RDT by concentrating the biomarker from blood sample volumes that are too large to be directly applied to a lateral flow strip.

METHODS
In this design, Ni-NTA-functionalized magnetic beads captured the Plasmodium falciparum biomarker HRPII from a P. falciparum D6 culture spiked blood sample. This transfer of magnetic beads to the RDT was facilitated by an inexpensive 3D-printed apparatus that aligned the sample tube with the sample deposition pad and a magnet beneath the RDT. Biomarkers were released from the bead surface onto the lateral flow strip using imidazole-spiked running buffer. Kinetics of HRPII binding to the Ni-NTA beads as a function of blood sample volume were explored prior to determining the effect of the proposed method on the limit of detection of Paracheck RDTs.

RESULTS
More than 80 % of HRPII biomarkers were extracted from blood sample volumes ranging from 25 to 250 µL. The time required to reach 80 % binding ranged from 5 to 60 min, depending on sample volume. Using 250 µL of blood and a 30-min biomarker binding time, the limit of detection of the Paracheck Pf RDT brand was improved by 21-fold, resulting in a limit of detection below 1 parasite/µL.

CONCLUSIONS
This approach has the sensitivity and simplicity required to assist in malaria elimination campaigns in settings with limited access to clinical and laboratory resources.