A New Gold Standard for Malaria Diagnosis

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | May 8th, 2018

The diagnosis of malaria in most developing countries has relied on parasites being identified by examining under the microscope a drop of the patient’s blood, spread out as a “blood smear” on a microscope slide by a specialist. The introduction of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) has the potential to significantly improve management of malaria infections, especially in remote areas with limited access to good quality microscopy services, but their sensitivity has been questioned.

The diagnosis of malaria in most developing countries has relied on parasites being identified by examining under the microscope a drop of the patient’s blood, spread out as a “blood smear” on a microscope slide by a specialist. The introduction of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) has the potential to significantly improve management of malaria infections, especially in remote areas with limited access to good quality microscopy services, but their sensitivity has been questioned.

The test is up to 80,000 times more sensitive at detecting the malaria parasite than conventional tests, potentially revolutionizing malaria diagnosis and establishing a new gold standard. Using innovative molecular Loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technology, illumigene results are available in less than one hour, and the test is easy to use as it does not rely on high-level technical expertise. This is a major step forward for people with malaria, as faster and more accurate diagnoses should lead to prompt treatment and better outcomes. The illumigene Malaria DNA amplification assay is performed on the illumipro-10, for the direct detection of Plasmodium spp. DNA in human venous EDTA whole blood specimens from individuals with signs and symptoms of malarial infection.

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