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Developing a novel serosurveillance kit in partnership with Luminex, A DiaSorin to support global malaria elimination efforts using the xMAP® Technology platform
Investigator(s): Dr Kevin Tetteh
Amount Awarded: 76,963

Rapid development of resistance to front line drugs and insecticides means many endemic countries see malaria elimination as the only sustainable means of controlling the disease. The WHO estimated that between 2000 and 2016 there was a 37% global decline in new malaria cases and a 60% fall in case fatalities. This equated to ~6 million lives saved. A challenge to elimination efforts is the ability to accurately and reproducibly measure the presence, and confirm absence, of infection in areas where malaria is on the decline. Current methods tend to lack sensitivity to detect low level parasitemia. To overcome this limitation, we have developed a serology assay based on the Luminex xMAP technology platform to detect exposure to infection. This relies on the measurement of malaria specific antibodies in individuals suspected of having been exposed to infection. Measuring antibodies using serologic assays provides a sensitive means of detecting infection and is capable of distinguishing between recent and historic exposure to infection. Using this assay, we have reproducibly generated detailed serology data from over 40,000 serologic samples from geographically diverse malaria endemic sites with different levels of transmission. This project aims to combine our expertise with that of Luminex/DiaSorin to address key bottlenecks towards the development of a commercialisable assay for use in informing local and national malaria programs.