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The use of Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) to detect the re-emerging Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) in the Luangwa and Zambezi valleys

Boniface Namangala1*, Lottie Hachaambwa2, Kiichi Kajino3, Aaron S Mweene4, Kyouko Hayashida3, Martin Simuunza4, Humphrey Simukoko5, Kennedy Choongo5, Pamela Chansa2, Shabir Lakhi2, Ladslav Moonga1, Amos Chota1, Joseph Ndebe4, Mutale Nsakashalo-Senkwe6, Elizabeth Chizema6, Lackson Kasonka2 and Chihiro Sugimoto3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paraclinical studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia

2 Department of Internal Medicine, University Teaching Hospital, PB RW 1X, Lusaka, Zambia

3 Research Centre for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 001-0020, Japan

4 Department of Disease Control, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia

5 Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, P.O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia

6 Ministry of Health, Ndeke House, P.O. Box 30205, Lusaka, Zambia

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:282  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-282

Published: 4 December 2012



Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a novel strategy which amplifies DNA with high sensitivity and rapidity under isothermal conditions. In the present study, the performance of the repetitive insertion mobile element (RIME)-LAMP and human serum resistance-associated gene (SRA)-LAMP assays were evaluated using clinical specimens obtained from four male patients from Luangwa and Zambezi valleys in Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively.


The cases reported in this preliminary communication were all first diagnosed by microscopy, through passive surveillance, and confirmed by both RIME-LAMP and SRA-LAMP. A good correlation between microscopy and LAMP was observed and contributed to staging and successful treatment of patient. RIME-LAMP and SRA-LAMP complimented each other well in all the cases.


Both RIME-LAMP and SRA-LAMP were able to detect Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense DNA in patient blood and CSF and hence confirmed HAT in the parasitaemic patients. Our study indicates that the LAMP technique is a potential tool for HAT diagnosis, staging and may be useful for making therapeutic decisions. However, no statistically significant conclusion may be drawn due to the limited sample size used in the present study. It is thus imperative to conduct a detailed study to further evaluate the potential of LAMP as a bedside diagnostic test for HAT.

HAT; RIME-LAMP; SRA-LAMP; Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense; Zambia; Zimbabwe