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 email@example.com.
Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences