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Identification of the Mycobacterium ulcerans protein MUL_3720 as a promising target for the development of a diagnostic test for Buruli ulcer

Dreyer, Anita and Röltgen, Katharina and Dangy, Jean Pierre and Ruf, Marie Thérèse and Scherr, Nicole and Bolz, Miriam and Tobias, Nicholas Jay and Moes, Charles and Vettiger, Andrea and Stinear, Timothy Paul and Pluschke, Gerd. (2015) Identification of the Mycobacterium ulcerans protein MUL_3720 as a promising target for the development of a diagnostic test for Buruli ulcer. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, Vol. 9, H. 2 , e0003477.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6348614

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Abstract

Buruli ulcer (BU) caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans is a devastating skin disease, occurring mainly in remote West African communities with poor access to health care. Early case detection and subsequent antibiotic treatment are essential to counteract the progression of the characteristic chronic ulcerative lesions. Since the accuracy of clinical BU diagnosis is limited, laboratory reconfirmation is crucial. However, currently available diagnostic techniques with sufficient sensitivity and specificity require infrastructure and resources only accessible at a few reference centres in the African endemic countries. Hence, the development of a simple, rapid, sensitive and specific point-of-care diagnostic tool is one of the major research priorities for BU. In this study, we have identified a previously unknown M. ulcerans protein, MUL_3720, as a promising target for antigen capture-based detection assays. We show that MUL_3720 is highly expressed by M. ulcerans and has no orthologs in other prevalent pathogenic mycobacteria. We generated a panel of anti-MUL_3720 antibodies and used them to confirm a cell wall location for MUL_3720. These antibodies could also specifically detect M. ulcerans in infected human tissue samples as well as in lysates of infected mouse footpads. A bacterial 2-hybrid screen suggested a potential role for MUL_3720 in cell wall biosynthesis pathways. Finally, we demonstrate that a combination of MUL_3720 specific antibody reagents in a sandwich-ELISA format has sufficient sensitivity to make them suitable for the development of antigen capture-based diagnostic tests for BU.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology > Molecular Immunology (Pluschke)
UniBasel Contributors:Ruf, Marie-Thérèse and Scherr, Nicole and Bolz, Miriam and Pluschke, Gerd
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1935-2727
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:31 Dec 2015 10:57
Deposited On:10 Apr 2015 09:12

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