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Sensitive immunoassay detection of Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenaseby Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry



Jiangbing Mu, Thomas Wellems, Lee L. Yu


Rapid, reliable, and sensitive detection of Plasmodium infection is central to malaria control and elimination. Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests developed for this purpose depend upon immunoassays that should be improved by advances in bound antibody sensor technology. In a previous study, immuno-PCR was shown to provide highly sensitive detection of Plasmodium falciparum lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) in monoclonal antibody (mAb) sandwich assays. Here, we show comparably high immunoassay sensitivity by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP MS) detection of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). Following capture of PfLDH with the primary mAb and binding of the AuNPs-labeled detection mAb, ICP-MS signals from the AuNPs provided quantitative measures of recombinant PfLDH test dilutions and P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes. A detection limit of 1.5 pg mL-1 was achieved with the PfLDH protein. Parasitemia in cultures of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes could be detected to a lower limit of 1.6 parasite μL-1 for early ring-stage forms and 0.3 parasite μL-1 for mixed stages including mature trophozoites and schizont-stages. These results show that ICP-MS detection of AuNPs that can support highly sensitive and accurate detection of Plasmodium infection.
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology


Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs), malaria, diagnostic tests, antigen-based detection


Mu, J. , Wellems, T. and Yu, L. (2021), Sensitive immunoassay detection of Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenaseby Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, [online],, (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created January 11, 2021, Updated September 28, 2022