Neurocysticercosis serodiagnosis: mimotope-based synthetic peptide as potential biomarker

  • Vanessa da Silva RibeiroEmail author
  • Henrique Tomaz Gonzaga
  • Daniela da Silva Nunes
  • Luiz Ricardo Goulart
  • Julia Maria Costa-Cruz
Immunology and Host-Parasite Interactions - Short Communication


Herein, we evaluate a mimotope-based synthetic peptidenamed NC41 to diagnose neurocysticercosis (NC), a neglected parasitic disease and a major cause of epilepsy worldwide. NC41 synthetic peptide was evaluated to diagnose NC, and total saline extract from Taenia solium metacestodes (SE) was used as control. Serum samples from patients with NC (n = 40), other parasitic diseases (n = 43), and healthy individuals (n = 40) were tested. Diagnostic parameters such as sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), likelihood ratio (LR), and area under curve (AUC) were calculated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. The sequence from T. solium phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) was used for epitope prediction, resulting in one high-scoring patch centered at residue L247. NC41 synthetic peptide reached high diagnostic performance (Se 97.5% and Sp 97.5%, LR+ 39 and AUC 0.997). Data from diagnostic parameters and in silico analyses proved the usefulness of NC41 synthetic peptide as a diagnostic marker for human NC.


ELISA Epitope Prediction NC4Serodiagnosis Synthetic peptide 


Funding information

This study was supported by the Fundação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES—no. 3200601004M-8), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG—no. CBB-PPM-00396-13), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq—no. 302426/2012-4).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Research Ethics Committee of the Universidade Federal de Uberlândia (UFU), Minas Gerais state, Brazil (approved under protocol number 041/09), and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

436_2019_6288_Fig2_ESM.png (2 mb)
Supplementary material 1

A: Average score profile of NC41 synthetic peptide in a patch centered on the surface-exposed residues of Taenia solium phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) protein surface. B–D: Results of conformational predicted epitope residues (color) on PECK, in detail (B) and in different views (C–D). Amino acids predicted by the EpiSearch method present in the highest scoring patch centered on L247 and also presented in the peptide sequence—match residues: M219, T222, T242, N243, M244, L247, T248, P249, L251, W254, M257, T294, P296, N297, W468, F482, and N484; predicted length 17aa. (TIF 4469 kb) (PNG 2051 kb)

High resolution image (TIF 4469 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa da Silva Ribeiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Henrique Tomaz Gonzaga
    • 1
  • Daniela da Silva Nunes
    • 1
  • Luiz Ricardo Goulart
    • 2
  • Julia Maria Costa-Cruz
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Diagnóstico de Parasitoses, Instituto de Ciências BiomédicasUniversidade Federal de UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Nanobiotecnologia, Instituto de Genética e BioquímicaUniversidade Federal de UberlândiaUberlândiaBrazil

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