Plasmonic gold chips for the diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii, CMV, and rubella infections using saliva with serum detection precision

  • Xiaoyang Li
  • Christelle PomaresEmail author
  • François Peyron
  • Cynthia J. Press
  • Raymund Ramirez
  • Gonfrier Geraldine
  • Isabelle Cannavo
  • Emmanuelle Chapey
  • Pauline Levigne
  • Martine Wallon
  • Jose G. MontoyaEmail author
  • Hongjie DaiEmail author
Original Article


Sampling the blood compartment by an invasive procedure such as phlebotomy is the most common approach used for diagnostic purposes. However, phlebotomy has several drawbacks including pain, vasovagal reactions, and anxiety. Therefore, alternative approaches should be tested to minimize patient’s discomfort. Saliva is a reasonable compartment; when obtained, it generates little or no anxiety. We setup a multiplexed serology assay for detection of Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM, rubella IgG, and CMV IgG, in serum, whole blood, and saliva using novel plasmonic gold (pGOLD) chips. pGOLD test results in serum, whole blood, and saliva were compared with commercial kits test results in serum. One hundred twenty serum/saliva sets (Lyon) and 28 serum/whole blood/saliva sets (Nice) from France were tested. In serum and whole blood, sensitivity and specificity of multiplex T. gondii, CMV, and rubella IgG were 100% in pGOLD when compared to commercial test results in serum. In saliva, sensitivity and specificity for T. gondii and rubella IgG were 100%, and for CMV IgG, sensitivity and specificity were 92.9% and 100%, respectively, when compared to commercial test results in serum. We were also able to detect T. gondii IgM in saliva with sensitivity and specificity of 100% and 95.4%, respectively, when compared to serum test results. Serological testing by multiplex pGOLD assay for T. gondii, rubella, and CMV in saliva is reliable and likely to be more acceptable for systematic screening of pregnant women, newborn, and immunocompromised patients.


Saliva Toxoplasmosis Cytomegalovirus Rubella Plasmonic gold chips Multiplexed serologies 


Funding information

Christelle Pomares received a grant from the “Philippe Foundation Inc.,” the “Association des amis de la Faculté de Médecine de Nice,” and from REDPIT (Recherche Et Developpement En Pathologie Infectieuse Et Tropicale) association. These associations allowed a personal financial support during the post-doctoral period in the USA.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the local ethical committees for the prospective collection of samples (Comité de protection des personnes (CPP) Teaching hospitals of Lyon and Nice, France).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaoyang Li
    • 1
  • Christelle Pomares
    • 2
    Email author
  • François Peyron
    • 3
  • Cynthia J. Press
    • 4
  • Raymund Ramirez
    • 4
  • Gonfrier Geraldine
    • 5
  • Isabelle Cannavo
    • 5
  • Emmanuelle Chapey
    • 6
  • Pauline Levigne
    • 3
  • Martine Wallon
    • 3
  • Jose G. Montoya
    • 4
    • 7
    Email author
  • Hongjie Dai
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Service de Parasitologie Mycologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice, INSERM, U1065, Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire, Faculté de MédecineVirulence microbienne et signalisation inflammatoire – Université de la Côte d’AzurNice, cedex 3France
  3. 3.Institut de Parasitologie et de Mycologie MédicaleHôpital de la Croix RousseLyonFrance
  4. 4.Palo Alto Medical Foundation Toxoplasma Serology LaboratoryPalo AltoUSA
  5. 5.Service de VirologieCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de NiceNiceFrance
  6. 6.Emerging Pathogens Laboratory - Fondation Mérieux, Centre, International de Recherche en Infectiologie (CIRI) Inserm U1111, CNRS UMR5308, ENS de LyonUCBL1LyonFrance
  7. 7.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of MedicineStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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