Abram Muse from Sefako Makgatho University in South Africa together with collaborators from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA and the University of the North West in South Africa will identify biomarkers that can be used to develop a sensitive and low-cost blood test for diagnosing gestational diabetes. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can have severe consequences for mother and child. It is currently diagnosed by an expensive and time-consuming glucose tolerance test, which involves taking blood multiple times, and is often not available in low-resource settings. They will perform a prospective cohort study of pregnant women at 20-28 weeks gestation who will be screened for gestational diabetes using the standard test. They will use a metabolomics approach to simultaneously measure thousands of analytes, and from these identify a combination of three to five biomarkers that can best diagnose gestational diabetes.
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