Recent progress in molecular diagnosis of sleeping sickness

S. Deborggraeve, Philippe Büscher

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    This article will review the most recent progress in the molecular diagnosis of sleeping sickness and its potential role in patient management and disease control. While PCR remains restricted to research and reference laboratories, promising alternative molecular platforms have emerged over the last few years. Several loop-mediated isothermal amplification assays have been developed for detection and identification of the parasite with reported high analytical sensitivity and specificity. Simplified loop-mediated isothermal amplification formats have been designed and are undergoing evaluation studies in the field. Accurate diagnosis based on specific detection of the parasite's ribosomal RNA has been made possible by the isothermal nucleic acid sequence-based amplification and by direct hybridization with fluorescent detection probes. In addition to the technological progress, the authors also discuss the diagnostic performance of molecular tests in the most recent clinical evaluation studies and briefly present some viewpoints for the near future.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
    Issue number7
    Pages (from-to)719-730
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Protozoal diseases
    • Trypanosomiasis-African
    • Sleeping sickness
    • Trypanosoma brucei gambiense
    • Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense
    • Vectors
    • Tsetse flies
    • Glossina morsitans
    • Diagnosis
    • Molecular diagnostic techniques
    • Polymerase chain reaction
    • PCR
    • Amplification
    • Ribosomal DNA
    • Nucleic acids
    • Sequence analysis
    • Fluorescent antibody technique
    • Fluorescence microscopy
    • Sensitivity
    • Specificity
    • Laboratory techniques and procedures
    • Review of the literature


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