Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Safer Method for Large-Scale Malaria Screening Developed

New PCR Test Detects Malaria Parasite in Urine or Saliva Rather than Blood

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

Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Modular safety concept increases flexibility in plant conversion

22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News

New interactive map shows climate change everywhere in world

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

New technologies and computing power to help strengthen population data

22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>