HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.

WCID 2023

Alok Kafle

Alok Kafle, Speaker at Infectious Disease Conference
Khon Kaen University, Thailand
Title : Unraveling potential early diagnostic biomarkers of opisthorchis viverrini infection through comparative immunoproteomics of the sera of Infected mice and hamsters


Opisthorchiasis, caused by Opisthorchis viverrini, continues to pose a significant public health challenge, particularly in the Lower Mekong Basin of Southeast Asia, necessitating urgent attention and intervention. Research on O. viverrini has primarily focused on proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of adult worms, neglecting the study of newly excysted juveniles (NEJ) and immature worms, representing crucial stages of the parasite's lifecycle.

We employed sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and western blotting techniques to investigate the kinetics of host immune responses targeting worm proteins during an early stage of infection. These methods assessed antibody responses in two animal species, hamsters and mice, following infection with O. viverrini at different intervals. The results demonstrated the propensity of mice to effectively eliminate Ov-infection, accompanied by a robust antibody reaction towards an approximately 100-kDa component of NEJ somatic extract. Conversely, hamsters displayed a notable depression in antibody response during the early stage of O. viverrini infection.

Expanding on these initial findings, we aimed to identify a set of immunoreactive proteins in the tegument and somatic extract obtained from NEJ, immature and mature adult worms on Days 1, 7, 14 and 28 post-infection, respectively, in both hosts. The comparative analysis of serum samples from hamsters and mice may provide insights into the specific protein(s) targeted by mice early, leading to the successful elimination of the infection. The discovery of early diagnostic biomarker may also be potential therapeutic target against O. viverrini.

Keywords: Opisthorchis viverrini, newly excysted juvenile (NEJ), immunoproteomics, biomarker

Audience Take Away:

  • Researchers can validate the biomarker candidates in dead-end hosts to develop rapid early diagnostics for infection
  • Clinicians can eventually use the resulting diagnostic tests to identify and treat infections earlier, leading to better patient outcomes.
  • Epidemiologists can leverage potential diagnostics to improve disease surveillance in high incidence areas and inform control strategies.
  • Parasitologists can take a similar comparative immunoproteomics approach to uncover biomarkers for other neglected tropical diseases.
  • Sharing these methods and findings helps advance the broader field of biomarker discovery and diagnostic test development.
  • Identifying infective stages early provides key insights for those developing vaccines, therapeutics, and interventions.


After obtaining his MS in Microbiology from Mahidol University, Mr. Alok Kafle pursued doctoral research on the carcinogenic parasite Opisthorchis viverrini (Ov) at Khon Kaen University's WHO-collaborating Center, motivated by the parasite's association with high liver cancer rates in the region. Undertaking his PhD in one of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the highest incidence areas, he’s determined to find biomarker and therapeutic targets for Ov-associated cholangiocarcinoma. His research addresses major health burdens, making good impact and significant contributions despite being early in his career


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