A research agenda for malaria eradication: diagnoses and diagnostics.


malERA Consultative Group on Diagnoses and Diagnostics [inc Hans, K; Schellenberg, D; ], ; (2011) A research agenda for malaria eradication: diagnoses and diagnostics. PLoS medicine, 8 (1). e1000396. ISSN 1549-1277 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000396

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Abstract

Many of malaria's signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other febrile diseases. Detection of the presence of Plasmodium parasites is essential, therefore, to guide case management. Improved diagnostic tools are required to enable targeted treatment of infected individuals. In addition, field-ready diagnostic tools for mass screening and surveillance that can detect asymptomatic infections of very low parasite densities are needed to monitor transmission reduction and ensure elimination. Antibody-based tests for infection and novel methods based on biomarkers need further development and validation, as do methods for the detection and treatment of Plasmodium vivax. Current rapid diagnostic tests targeting P. vivax are generally less effective than those targeting Plasmodium falciparum. Moreover, because current drugs for radical cure may cause serious side effects in patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, more information is needed on the distribution of G6PD-deficiency variants as well as tests to identify at-risk individuals. Finally, in an environment of very low or absent malaria transmission, sustaining interest in elimination and maintaining resources will become increasingly important. Thus, research is required into the context in which malaria diagnostic tests are used, into diagnostics for other febrile diseases, and into the integration of these tests into health systems.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Research Centre: Malaria Centre
PubMed ID: 21311583
Web of Science ID: 286594200011
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/237

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