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Development and Evaluation of a Dipstick Diagnostic Test for Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup X.

Abstract : The emergence of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup X (NmX) in the African meningitis belt has urged the development of diagnostic tools and vaccines for this serogroup, especially following the introduction of a conjugate vaccine against N. meningitidis serogroup A (NmA). We have developed and evaluated a new rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for detecting the capsular polysaccharide (cps) antigen of this emerging serogroup. Whole inactivated NmX bacteria were used to immunize rabbits. Following purification by affinity chromatography, the cpsX-specific IgG antibodies were utilized to develop an NmX-specific immunochromatography dipstick RDT. The test was validated against purified cpsX and meningococcal strains of different serogroups. Its performance was evaluated against that of PCR on a collection of 369 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples obtained from patients living in countries within the meningitis belt (Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Niger) or in France. The RDT was highly specific for NmX strains. Cutoffs of 10(5) CFU/ml and 1 ng/ml were observed for the reference NmX strain and purified cpsX, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 94%, respectively. A high agreement between PCR and RDT (Kappa coefficient, 0.98) was observed. The RDT gave a high positive likelihood ratio and a low negative likelihood (0.07), indicating almost 100% probability of declaring disease or not when the test is positive or negative, respectively. This unique NmX-specific test could be added to the available set of RDT for the detection of meningococcal meningitis in Africa as a major tool to reinforce epidemiological surveillance after the introduction of the NmA conjugate vaccine.
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Alain Agnememel, François Traincard, Sylvie Dartevelle, Laurence Mulard, Ali Elhaji Mahamane, et al.. Development and Evaluation of a Dipstick Diagnostic Test for Neisseria meningitidis Serogroup X.. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, American Society for Microbiology, 2015, 53 (2), pp.449-454. ⟨10.1128/JCM.02444-14⟩. ⟨pasteur-02013275⟩

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