Malaria is a serious, sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito that feeds on humans and infects red blood cells. People who contract malaria typically become very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness.
Antimalarial drugs appear to follow a typical pattern; with early effectiveness eventually limiting by the emergence of drug resistance. a new assay using whole blood; that simplifies the genetic analysis of malarial parasites by completely eliminating processing steps.
However, this provides rapid access to critical information associating with resistance to antimalarials at the point of care; avoiding the time, expense; and effort of having the sample sending to a central laboratory; and allowing clinicians to quickly re-evaluate treatment options.
Blood contains a wealth of genetic information, but currently must undergo significant processing to remove components that interfere with molecular analyses. This study, which analyzing a single mutation in a malaria parasite; provides the first steps to do just that: a drop of blood can be using directly, without any additional processing, to assess a range of genetic data.
But although molecular detection is perhaps the most efficient method; it is also the most complex because it requires DNA extraction and PCR instrumentation. By creating a procedure that overcomes the obstacles presented by blood, we have developed a simple method to quickly identify mutations associated with drug resistance.
Tools for DNA analysis
As a consequence, higher throughput testing and more rapid sample to result turnaround will be possible. To mitigate the inhibition by blood components, we redesigned the molecular tools used for DNA analysis. We utilized reporter dyes that are more optically compatible with blood; which were combining with a specific type of DNA subunit to accurately pinpoint mutations.
But according to the World Malaria Report 2018, there were 219 million cases of malaria globally in 2017 resulting in 435,000 malaria deaths. Although antimalarial drugs are often effective, outcomes are worse for those who are drug resistant. These drug-resistant parasites must not spread; we know from previous generations of drugs that the consequences can be catastrophic. To prevent further spread, the geographic location of drug-resistant parasites must be known.