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Limitations of rapid diagnostic tests in malaria surveys in areas with varied transmission intensity in Uganda 2017-2019: Implications for selection and use of HRP2 RDTs

January 6, 2021 - 11:34 -- Open Access
Bosco AB, Nankabirwa JI, Kamya MR, et al.
PLoS One. 2020 Dec 31;15(12):e0244457

Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2)-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are exclusively recommended for malaria diagnosis in Uganda; however, their functionality can be affected by parasite-related factors that have not been investigated in field settings.

Evaluation of Histidine-Rich Proteins 2 and 3 Gene Deletions in Plasmodium falciparum in Endemic Areas of the Brazilian Amazon

January 1, 2021 - 15:51 -- Open Access
Góes L, Chamma-Siqueira N, Peres JM, Nascimento JM, Valle S, Arcanjo AR, Lacerda M, Blume L, Póvoa M, Viana G
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 26;18(1):E123

Histidine-rich proteins 2 and 3 gene (pfhrp2 and pfhrp3) deletions affect the efficacy of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) based on the histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2), compromising the correct identification of the Plasmodium falciparum species. Therefore, molecular surveillance is necessary for the investigation of the actual prevalence of this phenomenon and the extent of the disappearance of these genes in these areas and other South American countries, thus guiding national malaria control programs on the appropriate use of RDTs. This study aimed to evaluate the pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletion in P. falciparum in endemic areas of the Brazilian Amazon.

NOT Open Access | Malaria Screening Using Front-Line Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification: Fourteen-Month Experience in a Nonendemic Regional Hub-and-Spoke Laboratory Setting

December 8, 2020 - 11:06 -- NOT Open Access
McGinnis E, Chan G, Hudoba M, Markin T, Yakimec J, Roland K
Am J Clin Pathol. 2020 Dec 7:aqaa173

We implemented front-line loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP)-based malaria screening in our nonendemic multicenter health region to reduce reliance on microscopy without sacrificing diagnostic efficiency. We aimed to evaluate changes in test volumes, positivity rates, turnaround times, and approximate labor time savings resulting from implementation of LAMP-based malaria testing to assess the efficacy of the novel testing algorithm in our regional hub-and-spoke testing model.

Field performance of ultrasensitive and conventional malaria rapid diagnostic tests in southern Mozambique

December 8, 2020 - 10:48 -- Open Access
Beatriz Galatas, Alfredo Mayor, Himanshu Gupta, Núria Balanza, Ihn Kyung Jang, Lidia Nhamussua, Wilson Simone, Pau Cisteró, Arlindo Chidimatembue, Humberto Munguambe, Francisco Saúte, Pedro Aide and Quique Bassat
Malaria Journal 2020 19:451, 7 December 2020

An ultrasensitive malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was recently developed for the improved detection of low-density Plasmodium falciparum infections. This study aimed to compare the diagnostic performance of the PfHRP2-based Abbott Malaria Ag P. falciparum ultrasensitive RDT (uRDT) to that of the conventional SD-Bioline Malaria Ag P. falciparum RDT (cRDT) when performed under field conditions.

Machine learning approaches classify clinical malaria outcomes based on haematological parameters

December 3, 2020 - 13:21 -- Open Access
Morang'a CM, Amenga-Etego L, Bah SY, Appiah V, Amuzu DSY, Amoako N, Abugri J, Oduro AR, Cunnington AJ, Awandare GA, Otto TD
BMC Med. 2020 Nov 30;18(1):375

Malaria is still a major global health burden, with more than 3.2 billion people in 91 countries remaining at risk of the disease. Accurately distinguishing malaria from other diseases, especially uncomplicated malaria (UM) from non-malarial infections (nMI), remains a challenge. Furthermore, the success of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) is threatened by Pfhrp2/3 deletions and decreased sensitivity at low parasitaemia. Analysis of haematological indices can be used to support the identification of possible malaria cases for further diagnosis, especially in travellers returning from endemic areas. As a new application for precision medicine, we aimed to evaluate machine learning (ML) approaches that can accurately classify nMI, UM, and severe malaria (SM) using haematological parameters.

Evaluation of a single screen and treat strategy to detect asymptomatic malaria among pregnant women from selected health facilities in Lindi region, Tanzania

December 2, 2020 - 07:46 -- Open Access
Chonge Kitojo, Frank Chacky, Emmanuel S. Kigadye, Joseph P. Mugasa, Abdallah Lusasi, Ally Mohamed, Patrick Walker, Erik J. Reaves, Julie R. Gutman and Deus S. Ishengoma
Malaria Journal 2020 19:438, 30 November 2020

In areas of high transmission, malaria in pregnancy (MiP) primarily causes asymptomatic infections; these infections nonetheless increase the risk of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. In 2014, Tanzania initiated a single screening and treatment (SST) strategy for all pregnant women at their first antenatal care (ANC) visit using malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) for surveillance purposes. However, there is paucity of data on the effectiveness of SST in the prevention of MiP. The objective of this study was to estimate the number of asymptomatic infections among pregnant women detected by SST, which would have been missed in the absence of the policy.

NOT Open Access | Ultrasensitive and Robust Point-of-Care Immunoassay for the Detection of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria

November 25, 2020 - 12:38 -- NOT Open Access
Salminen T, Mehdi F, Rohila D, Kumar M, Talha SM, Prakash JAJ, Khanna N, Pettersson K, Batra G
Anal Chem. 2020 Nov 23

Plasmodium falciparum malaria is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There is ongoing effort to eliminate malaria from endemic regions, and sensitive point-of-care (POC) diagnostic tests are required to support this effort. However, current POC tests are not sufficiently sensitive to detect P. falciparum in asymptomatic individuals.

NOT Open Access | An Antibody-Free Dual-Biomarker Rapid Enrichment Workflow (AnDREW) Improves the Sensitivity of Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests

November 19, 2020 - 13:37 -- NOT Open Access
Kantor AG, Markwalter CF, Nourani A, Wright DW
Anal Biochem. 2020 Nov 15:114020

Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are critical to the success of malaria elimination campaigns. These tests are rapid, user-friendly, and field-deployable to resource-limited regions. However, RDTs demonstrate poor sensitivity because they can only tolerate a small (5 μL) volume of blood, which limits the amount of protein biomarker delivered to the test. We have developed the Antibody-free Dual-biomarker Rapid Enrichment Workflow (AnDREW) for purifying histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) and Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (PLDH) from large volume (150 μL) blood samples.

Spatial and genetic clustering of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infections in a low-transmission area of Ethiopia

November 19, 2020 - 12:54 -- Open Access
Tessema SK, Belachew M, Tadesse FG, et al.
Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 17;10(1):19975

The distribution of malaria infections is heterogeneous in space and time, especially in low transmission settings. Understanding this clustering may allow identification and targeting of pockets of transmission. In Adama district, Ethiopia, Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax malaria patients and controls were examined, together with household members and immediate neighbors.

Cost-effectiveness of rapid diagnostic tests, compared to microscopic tests, for the diagnosis and treatment of gestational malaria in Colombia from an institutional perspective

November 11, 2020 - 14:22 -- Open Access
Deisy Cristina Restrepo-Posada, Jaime Carmona-Fonseca and Jaiberth Antonio Cardona-Arias
Malaria Journal 2020 19:400, 10 November 2020

Gestational malaria is associated with negative outcomes in maternal and gestational health; timely diagnosis is crucial to avoid complications. However, the limited infrastructure, equipment, test reagents, and trained staff make it difficult to use thick blood smear tests in rural areas, where rapid testing could be a viable alternative. The purpose of this study was to estimate the cost-effectiveness of rapid tests type III (Plasmodium falciparum/Plasmodium spp P.f/pan) versus microscopic tests for the diagnosis and treatment of gestational malaria in Colombia.


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