Early diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) remains an elusive challenge, especially in individuals with disseminated TB and HIV co-infection. Recent studies have shown a promise for the direct detection of pathogen-specific biomarkers such as lipoarabinomannan (LAM) for the diagnosis of TB in HIV-positive individuals. Currently, traditional immunoassay platforms that suffer from poor sensitivity and high non-specific interactions are used for the detection of such biomarkers. In this manuscript, we demonstrate the development of sandwich immunoassays for the direct detection of three TB-specific biomarkers, namely LAM, early secretory antigenic target 6 (ESAT6) and antigen 85 complex (Ag85), using a waveguide-based optical biosensor platform. Combining detection within the evanescent field of a planar optical waveguide with functional surfaces that reduce non-specific interactions allows for the ultra-sensitive and quantitative detection of biomarkers (an order of magnitude enhanced sensitivity, as compared to plate-based ELISA) in complex patient samples (urine, serum) within a short time. We also demonstrate the detection of LAM in urine from a small sample of subjects being treated for TB using this approach with excellent sensitivity and 100% corroboration with disease status. These results suggest that pathogen-specific biomarkers can be applied for the rapid and effective diagnosis of disease. It is likely that detection of a combination of biomarkers offers greater reliability of diagnosis, rather than detection of any single pathogen biomarker. NCT00341601.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases