Special Issue "Recent Advances in Malaria Diagnosis"

A special issue of Diagnostics (ISSN 2075-4418). This special issue belongs to the section "Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Weng Kung Peng
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Precision Medicine – Engineering Group, International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Avenida Mestre Jose Veiga, 4715-330 Braga, Portugal
Interests: precision medicine; NMR-based PoCT; machine learning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Maria Isabel Veiga
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Medicine, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; antimalarial drugs; resistance; epidemiology; diagnostics; molecular markers; hemozoin; drug transporters

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of Diagnostics, we cordially invite you to submit a manuscript to our Special Issue entitled “Recent Advances in Malaria Diagnosis”.

Malaria is a major public health concern which continues to claim the lives of more than 435,000 people each year. The challenges with antimalarial drug resistance and detection of low parasitaemia form an immediate barrier to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of ending malaria epidemics by the fast-approaching deadline of 2030. With the increasing human mobility (e.g., travel, migration), the threat of resurgence in traditionally non-endemic countries (e.g., United States, Europe) remains high.

This Special Issue discusses the recent advances of emerging technologies/methodologies in malaria diagnostics. Submissions can be original research articles, reviews, or commentaries/perspectives.

Dr. Weng Kung Peng
Dr. Maria Isabel Veiga
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Diagnostics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Malaria
  • Diagnostic
  • Asymptomatic
  • Sensitive
  • Specific

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
An Optimized Real-Time qPCR Method for the Effective Detection of Human Malaria Infections
Diagnostics 2021, 11(5), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11050736 - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 790
Abstract
Polymerase chain reaction, although an expensive method for the detection of human Plasmodium spp., is still considered the finest for the diagnosis of malaria. The conventional diagnostic PCR is an inexpensive process but consumes a lot of time, reagents and lacks sensitivity. On [...] Read more.
Polymerase chain reaction, although an expensive method for the detection of human Plasmodium spp., is still considered the finest for the diagnosis of malaria. The conventional diagnostic PCR is an inexpensive process but consumes a lot of time, reagents and lacks sensitivity. On the other hand, real-time PCR assays currently being used are mostly probe-based expensive methods and sometimes not feasible to detect all the species in a single amplification reaction condition. Here we have established a real-time PCR method that is time and cost effective with a single protocol to detect and distinguish five human Plasmodium species using the existing primers efficiently. The primers used here are being used in the conventional method and the sensitivity as well as specificity of this method has also been immensely improved (100%). The lower limit of detection for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium malariae are 0.064 parasites/µL, 1.6 parasites/µL, and 0.32 parasites/µL respectively and no cross reactivity was observed. Besides, we have analyzed melt curves that can be used for further species confirmation and validation purposes using multiplex systems. This method, therefore, can be considered as an alternative to the existing lineup for molecular diagnosis of malaria in endemic countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Malaria Diagnosis)
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Article
Validation of PfSNP-LAMP-Lateral Flow Dipstick for Detection of Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Associated with Pyrimethamine Resistance in Plasmodium falciparum
Diagnostics 2020, 10(11), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110948 - 13 Nov 2020
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The loop-mediated isothermal amplification coupled with lateral flow dipstick (PfSNP-LAMP-LFD) was recently developed to detect single nucleotide polymorphism (AAT → ATT), corresponding to substitution of asparagine to isoleucine at amino acid position 51 in the P. falciparum [...] Read more.
The loop-mediated isothermal amplification coupled with lateral flow dipstick (PfSNP-LAMP-LFD) was recently developed to detect single nucleotide polymorphism (AAT → ATT), corresponding to substitution of asparagine to isoleucine at amino acid position 51 in the P. falciparumdhfr-ts gene associated with antifolate resistance. In this present study, the PfSNP-LAMP-LFD was validated on 128 clinical malaria samples of broad ranged parasite densities (10 to 87,634 parasites per microliter of blood). The results showed 100% accuracy for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphism for N51I mutation. Indeed, the high prevalence of N51I in the Pfdhfr-ts gene detected in the clinical samples is in line with reports of widespread antifolate resistant P. falciparum in Thailand. The relationship between enzyme choice and reaction time was observed to have an effect on PfSNP-LAMP-LFD specificity; however, the method yielded consistent results once the conditions have been optimized. The results demonstrate that PfSNP-LAMP-LFD is a simple method with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to be deployed in routine surveillance of antifolate resistance molecular marker and inform antimalarial management policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Malaria Diagnosis)
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Review

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Review
Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests: Literary Review and Recommendation for a Quality Assurance, Quality Control Algorithm
Diagnostics 2021, 11(5), 768; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11050768 - 25 Apr 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have had an enormous global impact which contributed to the World Health Organization paradigm shift from empiric treatment to obtaining a parasitological diagnosis prior to treatment. Microscopy, the classic standard, requires significant expertise, equipment, electricity, and reagents. Alternatively, [...] Read more.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have had an enormous global impact which contributed to the World Health Organization paradigm shift from empiric treatment to obtaining a parasitological diagnosis prior to treatment. Microscopy, the classic standard, requires significant expertise, equipment, electricity, and reagents. Alternatively, RDT’s lower complexity allows utilization in austere environments while achieving similar sensitivities and specificities. Worldwide, there are over 200 different RDT brands that utilize three antigens: Plasmodium histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP-2), Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH), and Plasmodium aldolase (pALDO). pfHRP-2 is produced exclusively by Plasmodium falciparum and is very Pf sensitive, but an alternative antigen or antigen combination is required for regions like Asia with significant Plasmodium vivax prevalence. RDT sensitivity also decreases with low parasitemia (<100 parasites/uL), genetic variability, and prozone effect. Thus, proper RDT selection and understanding of test limitations are essential. The Center for Disease Control recommends confirming RDT results by microscopy, but this is challenging, due to the utilization of clinical laboratory standards, like the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the Clinical Lab Improvement Act (CLIA), and limited recourses. Our focus is to provide quality assurance and quality control strategies for resource-constrained environments and provide education on RDT limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Malaria Diagnosis)
Review
Performance and Application of Commercially Available Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Kits in Malaria Endemic and Non-Endemic Settings
Diagnostics 2021, 11(2), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics11020336 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a sensitive molecular tool suitable for use as a near point-of-care test for the diagnosis of malaria. Recent meta-analyses have detailed high sensitivity and specificity of malaria LAMP when compared to microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests, and polymerase chain [...] Read more.
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a sensitive molecular tool suitable for use as a near point-of-care test for the diagnosis of malaria. Recent meta-analyses have detailed high sensitivity and specificity of malaria LAMP when compared to microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests, and polymerase chain reaction in both endemic and non-endemic settings. Despite this, the use of malaria LAMP has primarily been limited to research settings to date. In this review, we aim to assess to what extent commercially available malaria LAMP kits have been applied in different settings, and to identify possible obstacles that may have hindered their use from being adopted further. In order to address this, we conducted a literature search in PubMed.gov using the search terms (((LAMP) OR (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification)) AND ((Malaria) OR (Plasmodium))). Focusing primarily on studies employing one of the commercially available kits, we then selected three key areas of LAMP application for further review: the performance and application of LAMP in malaria endemic settings including low transmission areas; LAMP for malaria screening during pregnancy; and malaria LAMP in returning travelers in non-endemic settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Malaria Diagnosis)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

1.
Name: Amine El Moutaouakil
Tentative Title: Graphene device for Malaria diagnostics

2.
Name: Michael Oluwaseun Dada
Tentative Title: Computational Approaches to Malaria Diagnostics Using Bloch NMR Flow Equation and Machine Learning

3.
Name: Andre Alves
Tentative Title: Probing into hemozoin

4.
Name: Maria Isabel Veiga
Tentative Title:

5.
Name: Michael Oluwaseun Dada
Tentative Title: an review paper

6.
Name: Purushottam Joshi; Weng Kung Peng
Tentative Title: Superparamagnetism in hemozoin – One too many, or double-edged sword? From technology to field test
Abstract: The identification hemozoin during Plasmodioum growth cycle present a unique opportunities as biomarkers for (rapid) diagnosis and plays vital role in the discovery of anti-malarial drugs. Hemozoin an inorganic nanocrytallines rich in magnetism and optical properties, in which magnetic-based technologies (e.g., nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry), and optical-based technologies (e.g., magnetic deposition microscopy, third harmonic generation imaging, fluorescent study of cell microarray chips and photoacoustic flowmeter). More advances techniques which include the combinatory properties is the magneto-optical detection using polarized light. In this review paper we critically reviewed the recent advances in technologies developed for malaria diagnosis based on magnetic and optical properties of hemozoin. We present (dis)advantages and opportunities/challenges to speed up the process of technology demonstration and actual field implementation.

7.
Name: Ulrika Morris; Berit Aydin Schmidt
Tentative title: The point of care and field applicability of Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for malaria diagnostics

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