DIAMETER: Diagnostics for malaria elimination toward eradication
Because the last malaria reservoirs may the hardest to detect
Press release — April 25, 2017. Alere launches the Alere™ Malaria Ag P.f, the first-ever rapid test to screen malaria infection in asymptomatic individuals
Finding the final cases
Many countries that have implemented successful malaria control programs are now close to achieving the goal of malaria elimination. In these areas, a significant portion of infected individuals have minimal or no symptoms but are still capable of transmitting malaria.
However, these cases may not be detected by existing rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). As control programs increasingly lead to lower prevalence of malaria, diagnostic tools need to be able to detect cases in asymptomatic individuals so that these patients can be treated and the cycle of transmission halted. New, highly sensitive point-of-care tests are needed that can identify these final reservoirs of malaria in near-elimination settings.
Advancing more sensitive tools
PATH and our partners are working to catalyze and support the development, evaluation, commercialization, and implementation of new, highly sensitive RDTs for malaria.
PATH has supported the evaluation of a newly launched RDT for Plasmodium falciparum, the Alere™ Malaria Ag P.f. Currently, we’re conducting research into malaria biomarkers and evaluating several highly sensitive tests for malaria under development.
We use a rigorous approach to identify the most promising solutions to malaria diagnostic challenges in low-resource, near-elimination settings. Learn more about our work below.
PATH conducted field research in five countries representing the spectrum of malaria programs ranging from control to elimination. The findings were incorporated into target product profiles to ensure that improved diagnostic tests are informed by the needs of users and the contexts in which active infection detection is carried out.
To identify the most efficient and cost-effective solutions, PATH assessed existing and new diagnostic tools in the product development pipeline with an emphasis on those tools that are adept at identifying low-density malaria infections prevalent in elimination settings.
- Enhanced Visual Parasite Detection
- Enzyme Linked Immunoabsorbent Assays (ELISA) for Histidine-Rich Protein 2 (HRP 2)
- The biophysical characterization of HRP2 reveals insights toward improved diagnostics for Plasmodium falciparum malaria elimination
- Guiding product development of malaria diagnostics to support elimination programs: The target product profile
- Assessing the market landscape for an infection detection test aimed at malaria elimination
- Structural characterization of Plasmodium falciparum HRP2: Analytical challenges in Plasmodium falciparum HRP2-based IDT development
- Incorporating user needs into product development for improved infection detection to support malaria elimination programs
Gonzalo Domingo, Malaria Portfolio Leader
This project is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.