Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
New diagnostic test for malaria uses spit, not blood

New diagnostic test for malaria uses spit, not blood

“Spit here, please.”

Will this become the instruction we receive upon entering clinics, schools, apothecaries and ports of entry throughout the globe?

One of the main factors enabling the continued transmission of malaria are individuals who are free from symptoms but carry the malaria parasite in their blood. However, the parasite numbers in the blood are so low they cannot be detected by current diagnostic tests. Since these individuals are not sick and do not visit a clinic, the true size of this parasite reservoir in the human population is unknown.

Globalization complicates the situation further. Individuals with asymptomatic infections can now unwittingly carry malaria parasites across borders, on airplanes, ships and trucks. As individuals who carry the malaria parasite frequently move in and out of countries that are malaria-free, there is always the risk of mosquitoes biting these infected individuals, picking up the parasite and triggering local transmission of the disease.

If the parasite is in the blood and it can’t be detected, then is there hope that we can reduce global malaria by greater than 90 percent within the next 10 years? My colleagues and I at the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute have recently developed a new test that can detect evidence of the malaria parasite using saliva rather than blood.

Making it to your fifth birthday

Every two minutes, a child under the age of 5 dies from malaria. Every year, more than 400,000 deaths occur because of malaria, a disease caused by a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes and has co-evolved with human society for millennia.

Since much of the disease burden occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, it is something that those of us in developed nations seldom hear, and rarely worry about. But more than one-third of the world’s population is at risk for becoming infected.

Since 2007, the world has been engaged in a lofty endeavor to eliminate if not eradicate this disease for good. Elimination is local or regional; eradication involves eliminating the disease worldwide. As a malariologist and vector biologist working in this discipline for almost two decades, I was fortunate enough to be part of the “think tank” that informed the global malaria eradication road map.

Working in disease endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa, I have seen the daily toll on parents as they see their children, their little baby girl or boy, succumb to this disease. I recall a particularly moving incident not too long ago, as I was chatting with a little girl outside of a clinic in Cameroon. She was the same age as my own 5-year-old daughter and the clinicians were treating her brother for malaria.

New diagnostic test for malaria uses spit, not blood
How malaria spreads from mosquito, which carries the parasite, to human to mosquito and continues transmission cycle. Credit: solar22/

As I listened to her animated effort to speak to me in “American English,” I was suddenly overwhelmed. It was a powerful reminder of why the rest of the world cannot ignore the horrible toll this disease takes on the very young. This among many memories strengthened my conviction to keep contributing in some form to malaria eradication.

Despite the concerted global effort that has resulted in a significant decline in the number of deaths from 2 million to less than half a million each year, residual transmission of the parasite remains.

Early detection, early treatment, no malaria

An innovative diagnostic tool can now identify children infected with malaria parasites but who are not yet sick. Through early detection, public health workers can now provide early treatment and essentially prevent the symptomatic cascade towards malaria.

Current malaria diagnostic tests have a problem. That problem is blood. Every single parent who has brought their child to a health care provider knows what hell-raising howls a needle or sharp lancet will bring. For some adults, giving blood as a child causes lifelong trauma.

But why does it have to be blood? By understanding the fundamental biology of the parasite in its human host and with a bit of serendipity it became clear to me that noninvasive options for detecting the parasite exist.

After a routine six-month cleaning at the dentist, wherein the hygienist nicked me accidentally, I realized that perhaps the barrier between blood and saliva is a low one—especially if you have a gum disease called gingivitis (common in countries with poor overall health care). Was it possible, I wondered, that the parasite, secretes a molecule that we can detect in saliva? It turns out that this was indeed the case.

My team and I in Florida developed a mobile prototype of the conceptualized rapid (five- to 20-minute) test, which we describe in Science Translational Medicine. Our device uses only 10 microliters – 1/478th the volume of a teaspoon – of saliva to detect a new protein called PSSP17 that is secreted by the parasite. We tested it using the saliva of 5- to 15-year-old children in Cameroon, Zambia and Sierra Leone who are free of malaria symptoms.

The saliva test basically works like other blood-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests that have a test strip inside a plastic cassette, similar to a pregnancy test. It is important to note that the portable saliva test is almost as sensitive as a molecular diagnostic test, which are only available from a laboratory.

With commercial release anticipated over the next three years, discussions about the potential utility of this innovation as a commercial product are profound. With a saliva test just a few years away, how many more children will now be able to celebrate their fifth birthday?

Parasites from patients with cerebral malaria stick preferentially in their brains

Provided by
The Conversation

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.The Conversation

New diagnostic test for malaria uses spit, not blood (2019, February 12)
retrieved 18 February 2019

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles