by Francisco AF, Saade U, Jayawardhana S, Pottel H, Scandale I, Chatelain E, Liehl P, Kelly JM, Zrein M. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2022; 16(10):e0010827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0010827
Summary: In the chronic phase of Chagas disease, the parasite burden is extremely low, infections are highly focal at a tissue/organ level, and bloodstream parasites are only intermittently detectable. Even highly sensitive PCR methodologies can be unreliable, with a tendency to produce “false-cure” readouts. Difficulties with determining parasitological cure thus constrain clinical trials of potential treatments and thus improved diagnostic techniques and biomarkers for cure are urgently needed. Using an experimental mouse model, the authors of this manuscript combined highly sensitive bioluminescence imaging and an antibody multiplex assay system to identify serological markers of infection and confirmation of parasitological cure. They identified markers of infection or parasite reduction that merit assessment in a clinical setting for the longitudinal monitoring of treated patients.