Comparative detection of trypanosomal DNA by loop-mediated isothermal amplification and PCR from flinders technology associates cards spotted with patient blood

J Clin Microbiol. 2010 Jun;48(6):2087-90. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00101-10. Epub 2010 Apr 21.


We analyzed DNA eluted from FTA (Flinders Technology Associates) cards spotted with blood from human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) patients admitted at Lwala Hospital in eastern Uganda and Kaliua Health Centre in northwestern Tanzania. The aims were to evaluate loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for detection of trypanosomal DNA in clinical samples and to characterize the infecting trypanosomes to the subspecies level. LAMP targeting the Trypanozoon conserved random inserted mobile element (RIME-LAMP) and that for the serum resistance-associated (SRA) gene (SRA-LAMP) were performed. For comparison, PCRs for the SRA gene specific for Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (SRA-PCR) and that to amplify the Trypanosoma brucei gambiense-specific surface glycoprotein (TgSGP-PCR) were done. Out of 128 samples analyzed, SRA-PCR was positive in 101 samples (78.9% sensitivity; 95% confidence interval [CI], 71.1 to 85.1%), SRA-LAMP was positive in 120 (93.8%; 95% CI, 88.2 to 96.8%), while RIME-LAMP revealed signals in 122 (95.3%; 95% CI, 90.2 to 97.8%). RIME-LAMP and SRA-LAMP were each significantly more sensitive than SRA-PCR (P values of 0.000 and 0.001, respectively; Fisher's exact test). There was poor agreement between RIME-LAMP and SRA-LAMP and the SRA-PCR, yielding kappa values of 0.31 and 0.40, respectively. Agreement between SRA-LAMP and RIME-LAMP was almost perfect (kappa value, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1). All the 128 field samples were negative by TgSGP-PCR. Blood spots from three T. b. gambiense HAT cases from northwestern Uganda were positive by TgSGP-PCR and RIME-LAMP. PCR took five times longer to execute than LAMP. LAMP may be useful to monitor emerging HAT foci or to test travelers returning from countries where HAT is endemic. It should be evaluated in a case-control study to determine its utility as a HAT diagnostic.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood / parasitology*
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • DNA, Protozoan / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods*
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Tanzania
  • Trypanosoma / classification*
  • Trypanosoma / genetics*
  • Trypanosoma / isolation & purification
  • Trypanosomiasis / diagnosis*
  • Trypanosomiasis / parasitology
  • Uganda


  • DNA, Protozoan