The RDT procedure is based on a simple blood test and, according to the results, helps to ensure that a greater number of patients receive the right treatment at no extra cost for the healthcare services.
"Since the existing test methods are too complicated and expensive for most primary health care clinics in Africa people are prescribed malaria treatment based on presence of fever only", says Dr Anders Björkman, who led the study at Karolinska Institutets research centre in Zanzibar, Tanzania. "With an improved diagnostic tool, treatment can be targeted to patients with confirmed malaria infection."
Malaria RDT is a relatively new diagnostic method which measures the presence of a protein produced by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in a sample of blood taken from the finger. The test requires no advanced laboratory equipment or training, and is already in clinical use. The study by Dr Björkman and colleagues, which is published in the journal PLoS Medicine, is the first broad-front evaluation of the test in clinical operation. It involved four clinics on Zanzibar and data from 1,887 adults and children who all had fever within 48 hours prior to enrolment in the study.
The subjects were divided into two groups, one that was given a regular medical examination and diagnosed on the basis of symptoms only, and one that was also tested with RDT. All patients who were diagnosed with malaria, regardless of method, were prescribed artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), a treatment based on a Chinese plant called Artemisia annua.
When the patients were followed up two weeks after treatment, it was observed that significantly fewer patients who had been tested with RDT received ACT treatment: 36 per cent, as opposed to 85 per cent of the control (non-RDT) group. However, more antibiotics were prescribed for the RDT group. The number of patient revisits made on account of the perceived ineffectiveness of ACT was also lower in the RDT group.
"This might well prove a minor revolution in the treatment of malaria in the poor countries that are most severely affected," says Dr Björkman. "It also means that we'll get a better picture of the spread of the disease, which will make it possible to develop new, improved control strategies."
It is estimated that some 300 million people a year become infected with malaria, and that approximately one million die of the disease or its complications. Particularly vulnerable are children under five years and pregnant women, in low and mid-income countries in Africa and Asia. The study was conducted in association with the Zanzibar Malaria Control Programme, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Nordic School of Public Health and the WHO.Publication:
PLoS Medicine, vol 6(4), 27 April 2009.
Katarina Sternudd | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > ACT > Artemisia annua > Karolinska Institutet > Malaria > Plasmodium falciparum > RDT > Simple blood test > artemisinin-based combination therapy > fight against malaria > healthcare services > malaria infection > malaria parasite > malaria treatment > rapid diagnostic tests
Staphylococcus aureus: A new mechanism involved in virulence and antibiotic resistance
23.03.2018 | Institut Pasteur
Scientists develop tiny tooth-mounted sensors that can track what you eat
22.03.2018 | Tufts University
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
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...
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...
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...
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...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy