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Training Years: 2018-2019

Training Site: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH)

Country: Peru

Mentors: Robert Gilman MD; Maritza Calderon (UPCH)

Title: Development of a Nanoparticle Diagnostic Technique for Congenital Toxoplasmosis in Lima, Peru

Program Objectives:

Aim 1: To identify the antigenic profile of T. gondii present in the urine of infants infected by vertical transmission of the parasite in utero – Hypothesis: We expect the use of novel nanoparticle trap technology will allow us to concentrate low levels of antigen in urine for detection using mass spectrometry.

Aim 2: To increase diagnostic sensitivity for congenital toxoplasmosis with a novel nanotrap lateral flow urinary antigen test for T. gondii and evaluate this assay in a cohort of infants seropositive for congenital toxoplasmosis. Our lab has successfully detected T. gondii antigen in HIV-infected patients with toxoplasmic encephalitis (TE) using nanoparticle trap technology to concentrate antigens in urine and detect them with western blot. We will transfer this technology to the development of a simple, affordable, noninvasive test for the detection of T. gondii antigen in urine of infants born with congenital toxoplasmosis.

NIH Support: Fogarty scholars doctoral training award

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