Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Malaria Research Institute have developed a new test for detecting the malaria parasite in human urine and saliva. Although not a diagnostic test for determining treatment, the method could potentially reduce the need for blood sampling in epidemiological studies where large-scale malaria screening is required.
Drawing blood increases the risk of spreading HIV and other diseases, particularly in those developing countries where both HIV and malaria are prevalent. Blood drawing must also be performed by trained personnel, whereas urine and salvia sampling does not. The study was published online in the November 8, 2006, edition of Malaria Journal.
“Testing urine or saliva could be an easier and safer way to collect the information needed for studying malaria in communities. For instance, it could be used in studies to determine if a population is growing resistant to malaria drugs, which is a very serious problem,” said David J. Sullivan, MD, senior author of the study and a professor in the Bloomberg School’s Malaria Research Institute.
The test uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique for duplicating and then examining unique bits of DNA from a sample, thereby allowing DNA to be multiplied in the laboratory. The same PCR technique is used for examining malaria in blood, but has never been applied to urine and saliva samples.
The study was conducted in collaboration with colleagues at the Malaria Research Institute’s research hospital in Macha, Zambia. Urine and salvia samples were obtained from 47 volunteers with malaria and 4 without, and were then examined with the PCR method. DNA from the Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, was replicated at higher levels from the saliva compared to the urine samples. However, neither method was as sensitive as that using blood samples.
“Programs for monitoring antimalarial drug and vaccine efficacy could therefore adopt such a bloodless method, while maintaining high sensitivity for clinically significant infections,” said Sungano Mharakurwa, PhD, lead author of the study and a researcher with the Malaria Research Institute in Macha.
“PCR detection of Plasmodium in human urine and saliva samples” was written by Sungano Mharakurwa, Christopher Simoloka, Philip E. Thuma, Clive Shiff and David J. Sullivan.
Funding for the research was provided by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute.
Public Affairs media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Lowe at 410-955-6878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia
New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences