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Researchers identify three biomarkers associated with gametocytes development that predict transmission potential, and the use of LAMP-based malaria diagnostic tools is evaluated.
Researchers have identified three malaria parasite biomarkers that offer an early indication of infected individuals’ transmission potential. The transmissible form of the parasites, the gametocytes, are sequestered out of blood circulation as they develop, before being released back into the bloodstream where they can be transmitted to mosquitoes. It is, therefore, hard to know how many gametocytes an individual will have, and therefore how infectious they will be to mosquitoes before the gametocytes are released into circulation. Researchers have now found that biomarkers associated with gametocytes when they first develop, before they are sequestered, can predict that quantity. The research has application for drug discovery, as the impact of antimalarial drugs on gametocyte development can now be more reliably assessed.
The real-life use of LAMP-based malaria diagnostic tools has been evaluated. Despite similar numbers of patients being tested, it substantially reduced the workload without compromising turnaround.
Image Credits: CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin 
Scientific Advisor: Katharine Collins, Radboud University Medical Centre