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Novel Sensor and Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Malaria Using Human Breath

Stephen Trowell from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Australia will develop a highly sensitive low-cost and low-invasive diagnostic test for malaria that detects volatile chemicals in exhaled breath. Malaria is one of the most severe infectious diseases affecting hundreds of millions of people per year. Although several diagnostic tests are available they are relatively complex and expensive suffer from limited sensitivity and all require a sample of blood. To overcome these limitations they have developed a test that can detect malaria based on a signature of volatile chemicals (thioethers) released in the breath of patients with so-called controlled human malaria infection. They will now determine whether their signature has diagnostic value also in clinical settings in three distinct genetic and ecological environments namely children at risk of malaria in Malawi and at-risk adults in Bangladesh and in Malaysia by measuring the levels of thioethers in the breath. Finally they will assess the predictive power of their signature for breath diagnosis of malaria in patients in eastern Sudan.

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