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Biosensor Promises Early Malaria Diagnosis

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A strip of chromatography paper similar to that used in rapid pregnancy tests is the basis of a bio-sensor for detecting malaria that has been developed by Brazilian researchers.

A strip of chromatography paper similar to that used in rapid pregnancy tests is the basis of a bio-sensor for detecting malaria that has been developed by Brazilian researchers.

The strip, designed for early diagnosis of infection caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasites responsible for the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease, gives a result within 30 minutes of being immersed in a solution with samples of blood, serum or saliva of an infected person. Current tests take between two to ten days to give a result.

If the paper strip changes its colour, it means that histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) — a protein excreted only by P. falciparum in the first days after the infection — is present into the bloodstream.

During lab tests, the device was able to detect the presence of the HRP2 even when the parasite had produced it in low quantities.

Read more at SciDev.Net

Photo credit: ArtsyBee via Pixabay