Medical

Magnetic tech developed to better diagnose malaria

Magnetic tech developed to bet...
A potentially malaria parasite-carrying Anopheles mosquito
A potentially malaria parasite-carrying Anopheles mosquito
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A potentially malaria parasite-carrying Anopheles mosquito
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A potentially malaria parasite-carrying Anopheles mosquito

It can be difficult to determine if someone has malaria – enough so, that many people who don't even have the disease end up being treated for it. A new technique, however, could make diagnosis much easier and more reliable.

When present in a patient's bloodstream, malaria parasites break down the person's blood in such a way that its heme molecules reassemble themselves into organic crystallites. Those crystallites contain magnetic iron, which can be detected in blood samples via the new process.

Known as rotating-crystal magneto-optical detection (RMOD), the technique was developed by an international team of scientists led by Dr. Stephan Karl from Australia's James Cook University. When recently tested in Papua New Guinea – on approximately 1,000 patients who were suspected of having malaria – RMOD was shown to perform well as compared the most reliable existing method.

Unlike many traditional diagnostic techniques, however, RMOD could likely soon be performed utilizing portable, inexpensive, easy-to-use devices.

"It's very promising, as RMOD testing can be conducted after a short training session and provides test results within 10 minutes," says Karl. "From a funding perspective the cost is very low since no expensive reagents are used."

The scientists are now refining the technology, so that it can better differentiate between previous and current malaria infections.

A paper on the research, which also involved Prof. Istvan Kezsmarki from Germany's University of Augsburg, was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: James Cook University via EurekAlert

2 comments
2 comments
FB36
Mosquitoes are main/only carriers of many extremely dangerous/deadly diseases/parasites & they have no irreplaceable essential function in nature & humanity actually have the tech to eradicate all of them permanently/globally! All we need is a global international agreement of all countries to start the work!
Jinpa
I can tell what's eating you, FB36, but I got curious about what eats mosquitoes. They feed some bats and some birds, but not just those creatures. Do a search on: what eats mosquitoes. Here' s just one hit: https://pestpush.com/mosquito-predators/ Still, mosquitoes can kill rather large vertebrates, so are they a justifiable extinction target? Is there any karma waiting for that?