Authors: Mathew M. Kramm III, Andrea E. Montalvo, Israel D. Parker, Roel R. Lopez, Rodeon Gorchakov, Melissa S. Nolan

American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) is caused by the flagellated protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), a zoonotic parasite found in meso‐mammal species in South Texas, USA. Chagas disease is of growing concern in vertebrate species, and not well‐understood. Protocols for detection of mammalian T. cruzi infection are available, but have poor specificity and sensitivity and require a secondary disease confirmation assay. The utility of combining an antibody‐based and a DNA‐based assay for simultaneous T. cruzi infection detection has been largely underexplored. Our objectives were to evaluate commercially available single‐use Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. DPP® (Dual Path Platform) immunochromatographic rapid detection assay device for the detection of antibodies to T. cruzi in meso‐mammal species as compared with standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for T. cruzi DNA. In May and June 2016, we tested the device on whole blood serum from 50 meso‐mammals including raccoons (Procyon lotor), Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana), fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), rock squirrels (Otospermophilus variegatus), a striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), a nine‐banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), and a ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) in central Texas. Our results showed the Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. DPP® immunochromatographic rapid detect assay system identified infection in 74% of meso‐mammals that tested positive by PCR. This testing device shows promise as an effective first‐line T. cruzi antibody detection device to mass screen for disease infection in meso‐mammals. © 2019 The Wildlife Society.

Suggested Citation

Kramm III, M., A.E. Montalvo, I.D. Parker, R.R. Lopez, R. Gorchakov, M.S. Nolan. 2019. Immunochromatographic Antibody Screening for Diagnosis of Trypanosoma cruzi in South Texas Meso‐Mammals. Wildlife Society Bulletin. 10.1002/wsb.1030.