Agaba Bosco from the Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration in Uganda will integrate a molecular surveillance system into their National Malaria Control Program to diagnose a currently under-detected variant of the causative parasite Plasmodium falciparum and better track spread. Most rapid diagnostic tests for malaria detect a specific parasite protein, however a new variant has emerged that has a deletion of the corresponding pfhrp2/3 gene, leading to a false negative test result. As these infections fail to be diagnosed, people aren’t being properly treated, and the disease continues to spread. They will upgrade the testing capabilities at the malaria reference laboratory to detect this deletion variant, and select 10 facilities spread across the country from which they will periodically sample 37 malaria patients to track the spread. They will also incorporate information systems for data capture and visualization dashboards to inform program managers and guide their decision-making.
More information about New Approaches to Integrating Molecular Surveillance into Malaria Control Programs (Round 26)