A recent study shows that a new malaria test may be the key to eliminating malaria from world health concerns, as it is much more sensitive at detecting the disease than previous malaria tests. The test uses a capture and litigation probe-PCR (CLIP-PCR) to detect and diagnose malaria cases.

With previous detection and diagnosis methods, these cases would have gone unnoticed. Now more people can be more accurately treated for their malaria illness.

A crucial element to eliminating malaria is accurate detection and diagnosis. Unfortunately, the current tests do not detect between 20 percent and 50 percent of all malaria cases. More advanced technology is too expensive to send to the developing world. The new CLIP-PCR malaria test could change all of this.

In the past 10 years, malaria control programs have successfully eradicated the disease from 111 countries. An additional 34 countries are rapidly progressing toward total malaria eradication. Several areas, including Africa, still consider malaria a serious public health threat. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently estimated that every minute a child in Africa dies from malaria.

“For most programs, increased massive screenings have placed additional demands on human and financial resources, stretching a surveillance system already strained by high workload and limited funding,” Zhi Zheng, Ph.D., of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, said. “With drastically improved throughput, sensitivity and affordability compared with current screening technology, CLIP-PCR can lead to a higher frequency of active surveys, a larger radius and coverage per survey and a better detection rate for asymptomatic infections, all without substantial additional expenditures of human and financial resources in current malaria budgets.”

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