Scent of Disease: Diagnostic for Malaria Infection in Humans
Mark Mescher, Consuelo De Moraes and Andrew Read of Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. will test the theory that malaria infection induces characteristic odor cues, even in asymptomatic individuals. By identifying these chemical cues with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, they will determine if there are biomarkers for diagnosis of infection that could be used to develop a diagnostic to aid in eradication of malaria. This project's Phase I research showed that malaria does produce characteristic odor cues, including several that change through the course of infection. During Phase II, the team will research the origin and nature of these volatiles and develop assays capable of detecting them for diagnosis under real-world conditions.