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Malaria Diagnosis: Current Approaches and Future Prospects

Onile-ere, Olabode and Openibo, John and Olasehinde, G. I (2016) Malaria Diagnosis: Current Approaches and Future Prospects. In: 3rd International Conference On African Development Issues (CU-ICADI), May 9- May 11 2016, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria.

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Scaled up efforts by a consortia of organisations in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of malaria have led to a significant reduction in the overall malaria mortality and morbidity in the past few years. Malaria has, nonetheless, remained one of the world’s most burdensome diseases with the over 214 million cases and 438,000 deaths recorded in 2015 (2.68% of global DALYs). This burden is unevenly domiciled in sub-Saharan Africa where 89% of all cases and 91% of all deaths occurred. These figures however, only represent a fraction of the actual global burden of Malaria as surveillance fails to cover most cases in sub-Saharan Africa where the majority of malaria endemic regions lack facilities for diagnosis, case management and active surveillance. The emergence of drug resistant strains of the Plasmodium species prompted WHO to recommend a confirmatory diagnosis of each case of Malaria before treatment. The workability of this recommendation however, begs to be questioned as the majority of all malaria diagnosis is done via Clinical diagnosis; which lacks precision, is still the major form of diagnosis in many malaria endemic regions, and contributes to the over-diagnosis of malaria and subsequent under-diagnosis of other febrile illnesses. Of higher import is the risk of the emergence of drug resistant species due to the unregulated antimalarial use caused by inaccurate clinical diagnosis. Microscopy, which is the gold standard of malaria diagnosis, and the Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) for malaria antigens have proven to be very useful in the diagnosis of malaria giving high levels of specificity and sensitivity. They however have the downside of having relatively high limits of detection, invasiveness, being labour intensive and expensive in the light of the low income countries where malaria is endemic. More sophisticated tools such as those that employ nucleic acid techniques (Polymerase Chain Reaction and Gene probes) are not field deployable and are mostly applied for research purposes. This necessitates the need for new diagnostic approaches that are suited to the conditions found in malaria endemic regions. A range of novel diagnostic tools with a do-ityourself approach, leveraging on previously untapped diagnostic material such as urine are currently being assessed. These novel tools promise great results if successful. This review presents an overview of current diagnostic methods, the prospects in malaria diagnostics and finally makes an effort to recommend what an ideal malaria diagnostic tool should be made up of, all the while focusing on sub-Saharan Africa

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Malaria, Diagnosis, sub-Saharan Africa
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Mrs Hannah Akinwumi
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 07:36
Last Modified: 29 Jun 2016 07:36

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