29 research outputs found

    Development and In-House Validation of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and a Lateral Flow Immunoassay for the Dosage of Tenofovir in Human Saliva

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    Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) includes very potent drugs that are often characterized by high toxicity. Tenofovir (TFV) is a widely used drug prescribed mainly for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) and the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The therapeutic range of TFV is narrow, and adverse effects occur with both underdose and overdose. The main factor contributing to therapeutic failure is the improper management of TFV, which may be caused by low compliance or patient variability. An important tool to prevent inappropriate administration is therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of compliance-relevant concentrations (ARCs) of TFV. TDM is performed routinely using time-consuming and expensive chromatographic methods coupled with mass spectrometry. Immunoassays, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs), are based on antibody–antigen specific recognition and represent key tools for real-time quantitative and qualitative screening for point-of-care testing (POCT). Since saliva is a non-invasive and non-infectious biological sample, it is well-suited for TDM. However, saliva is expected to have a very low ARC for TFV, so tests with high sensitivity are required. Here, we have developed and validated a highly sensitive ELISA (IC50 1.2 ng/mL, dynamic range 0.4–10 ng/mL) that allows the quantification of TFV in saliva at ARCs and an extremely sensitive LFIA (visual LOD 0.5 ng/mL) that is able to distinguish between optimal and suboptimal ARCs of TFV in untreated saliva

    Bacterial ligands as flexible and sensitive detectors in rapid tests for antibodies to SARS-CoV-2

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    Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) is widely employed as point-of-care tests (POCT) for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. The accuracy of LFIA largely depends on the quality of the immunoreagents used. Typical LFIAs to reveal the immune response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) employ anti-human immunoglobulin (hIG) antibodies and recombinant viral antigens, which usually are unstable and poorly soluble. Broad selective bacterial proteins, such as Staphylococcal protein A (SpA) and Streptococcal protein G (SpG) can be considered alternatives to anti-hIG to increase versatility and sensitivity of serological LFIAs because of their high binding capacity, interspecies reactivity, and robustness. We developed two colorimetric LFA devices including SpA and SpG linked to gold nanoparticles (GNP) as detectors and explored the use of a specific, stable, and soluble immunodominant fraction of the nucleocapsid protein from SARS-CoV-2 as the capturing agent. The optimal amount of SpA-GNP and SpG-GNP conjugates and the protein-to-GNP ratios were defined through a full factorial experimental design to maximize the diagnostic sensitivity of the LFIAs. The new LFA devices were applied to analyze 105 human serum samples (69 positive and 36 negatives according to reference molecular diagnostic methods). The results showed higher sensitivity (89.9%, 95% CI 82.7-97.0) and selectivity (91.7%, 82.6-100) for the SpA-based compared to the SpG-based LFA. In addition, 18 serum samples from cats and dogs living with COVID-19 patients were analyzed and 14 showed detectable levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, thus illustrating the flexibility of the SpA- and SpG-based LFAs

    What is the role of the placebo effect for pain relief in neurorehabilitation? Clinical implications from the Italian consensus conference on pain in neurorehabilitation

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    Background: It is increasingly acknowledged that the outcomes of medical treatments are influenced by the context of the clinical encounter through the mechanisms of the placebo effect. The phenomenon of placebo analgesia might be exploited to maximize the efficacy of neurorehabilitation treatments. Since its intensity varies across neurological disorders, the Italian Consensus Conference on Pain in Neurorehabilitation (ICCP) summarized the studies on this field to provide guidance on its use. Methods: A review of the existing reviews and meta-analyses was performed to assess the magnitude of the placebo effect in disorders that may undergo neurorehabilitation treatment. The search was performed on Pubmed using placebo, pain, and the names of neurological disorders as keywords. Methodological quality was assessed using a pre-existing checklist. Data about the magnitude of the placebo effect were extracted from the included reviews and were commented in a narrative form. Results: 11 articles were included in this review. Placebo treatments showed weak effects in central neuropathic pain (pain reduction from 0.44 to 0.66 on a 0-10 scale) and moderate effects in postherpetic neuralgia (1.16), in diabetic peripheral neuropathy (1.45), and in pain associated to HIV (1.82). Moderate effects were also found on pain due to fibromyalgia and migraine; only weak short-term effects were found in complex regional pain syndrome. Confounding variables might have influenced these results. Clinical implications: These estimates should be interpreted with caution, but underscore that the placebo effect can be exploited in neurorehabilitation programs. It is not necessary to conceal its use from the patient. Knowledge of placebo mechanisms can be used to shape the doctor-patient relationship, to reduce the use of analgesic drugs and to train the patient to become an active agent of the therapy

    Multiplex Lateral Flow Immunoassay: An Overview of Strategies towards High-throughput Point-of-Need Testing

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    Simultaneous measurement of different substances from a single sample is an emerging issue for achieving efficient and high-throughput detection in several fields of application. Although immunoanalytical techniques have well-established and prevailing advantages over alternative screening analytical platforms, one of the incoming challenges for immunoassay is exact multiplexing. Lateral flow immunoassay (LFIA) is a leading immunoanalytical technique for onsite analysis, thanks to its simplicity, rapidity, and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, LFIA architecture is adaptable to multiplexing, and is therefore a possible answer to the pressing demand of multiplexing point-of-need analysis. This review presents an overview of diverse approaches for multiplex LFIA, with a special focus on strategies based on new types of magnetic, fluorescent, and colored labels