The aim of WormShield project is to improve the monitoring of hookworms infections through the development of fast, comprehensive, specific and sensitive strip (LFD) tests that can be used in the field conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hookworm infections occur in an estimated 576 to 740 million people worldwide (CDC, 2013, Fig.1). It mainly affects people in developing nations in the tropics and subtropics due to poor sanitation.
Up to date the three main methods used for hookworm detection are: Kato Katz, MiniFLOTAC and McMaster. Despite their relatively low prices and moderate sensitivity, they are time consuming, need some laboratory infrastructure, equipment and well trained personnel. The need for new, more sensitive/specific, easier to use and transportation by health workers has been a challenge. Some studies are underway although none have been largely used in the field.
As a result of project we will develop a new, less expensive and userfriendly strip tests with improved sensitivity for pointofcare diagnostics to be applied directly in field settings worldwide.
Fig.1. Global Distribution of Human Hookworm Infection (Hotez, Peter J et al. “Hookworm: ‘The Great Infection of Mankind.’” PLoS Medicine 2.3 (2005): e67. PMC. Web. 17 Aug. 2018).
There are no specific symptoms of hookworm infection, but they give rise to a combination of intestinal inflammation and progressive iron deficiency anemia and protein deficiency. Hookworms affect the lungs and small intestine. The eggs of the hookworms end up on the ground after passing through human feces. They
hatch into larvae, which stay in the soil until they have a chance to break through human skin. After entering
the skin, larvae travel through the bloodstream, enter the lungs, travel to the windpipe and are carried to the
small intestine when swallowed. Fully grown, they can live in small intestine for a year or more before passing
through the feces (Fig.2).
Fig.2.Life Cycle of the Human Hookworm N. americanus (Hotez, Peter J et al. “Hookworm: ‘The Great Infection of Mankind.’” PLoS Medicine 2.3 (2005): e67. PMC. Web. 17 Aug. 2018).
Core business of BS is diagnostics and medicine. Company’s business concept establishes designing, developing and commercialization of fast diagnostic tests (LFD – lateral flow device) for fast, accurate, infield diagnosis of parasites and viruses. WormShield is in a line with core business of BS which is based on the knowledge and experience of its team in bioinformatics as identifying new therapeutic/diagnostic targets; molecular biology and biotechnology as protein/antigens designing and production, drug design and expertise in medicine, diagnostics and needs of diagnostic market.
The mission of the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI is the preparation of innovative solutions for specific problems at the interfaces of medicine, life sciences and engineering. There exists expert knowledge in the investigation, development, validation and translation of processes, methods, materials and products for commercial application in the fields of Cell and Gene Therapy, Drugs, Diagnostics and Biosystems Technology. The department therapy validation will support the project WormShield with the expertise of antibody based test development as well as with a wellestablished pipeline ranging from the development and characterization of human therapeutic monoclonal antibodies to the smallscale GMP production of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for preclinical animal studies and clinical trials (Phase I and II).
The Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt (IMT AvH) is part of The Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and is among the top research and teaching institutions in tropical medicine in Latin America. IMT AvH houses the Gorgas Courses in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Traveler Health which are among the best courses in tropical medicine in the world. The Cusco Branch of IMT AvH is a research facility that operates in the south region of Peru. Ongoing research projects include epidemiologic studies in the Andes highlands (Fasciola, Hymenolepis spp, and Echinococcosis) and the jungle (Strongyloides and soil transmitted helminths).
Is a selfmanaged public pediatric hospital under the guiandance of Ministry of Health. As a Tertiary referral hospital it is committed with children and a Adolescent health. A management model prioritizes the right to health and health services, by children and adolescents from birth to eighteen years of age, with universal and equal access to plans, programs and prevention services, health promotion, protection, treatment and rehabilitation. Hospital’s services include: Emergency, Clinic, Hospitalization, Intensive Care, Surgery and Laboratory.