Semi-quantitative scoring of an immunochromatographic test for circulating filarial antigen

Chesnais CB, Missamou F, Pion SD, Bopda J, Louya F, Majewski AC, Weil GJ, Boussinesq M

Abstract. The value of a semi-quantitative scoring of the filarial antigen test (Binax Now Filariasis card test, ICT) results was evaluated during a field survey in the Republic of Congo. One hundred and thirty-four (134) of 774 tests (17.3%) were clearly positive and were scored 1, 2, or 3; and 11 (1.4%) had questionable results. Wuchereria bancrofti microfilariae (mf) were detected in 41 of those 133 individuals with an ICT test score ≥ 1 who also had a night blood smear; none of the 11 individuals with questionable ICT results harbored night mf. Cuzick's test showed a significant trend for higher microfilarial densities in groups with higher ICT scores (P < 0.001). The ICT scores were also significantly correlated with blood mf counts. Because filarial antigen levels provide an indication of adult worm infection intensity, our results suggest that semi-quantitative reading of the ICT may be useful for grading the intensity of filarial infections in individuals and populations.