Saliva-based Rapid Diagnostic Tests

Saliva-based Rapid Diagnostic Tests

Despite widespread malaria control efforts, residual malaria transmission continues to be observed, calling in to question whether the global malaria elimination goals can actually be achieved. A large proportion of this residual malaria parasite transmission is due to low numbers of parasites that cannot be detected by available blood-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) or microscopy. This subclinical or “carrier” population is a major obstacle to achieving the global malaria elimination goals, as they comprise the parasite reservoir that leads to infection of mosquitoes and persistent local transmission. However, no point-of-need (PON) RDTs for malaria parasite detection have made it to the market, much less one that is highly mobile and can perform non-invasive sampling of saliva outside a clinic, for example in schools or homes.  We discovered a conserved, strain-transcending Plasmodium parasite protein marker (PSSP17) present in the saliva of children with a subclinical malaria parasite infection (both asexual blood stages and sexual stage gametocytes). We have developed and validated a prototype PON RDT to fulfill this unmet need.  We have recently expanded our later flow platform to COVID-19 and anemia. See here for more details:

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First in human clinical trials of the AnAPN1 malaria transmission-blocking vaccine

Former director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, Christian Loucq, M.D., says it is exciting to see Dinglasan's concept moving toward a clinical trial. "There are very interesting issues to be addressed in this project which span the technical, immunological, strategic, regulatory and behavioral," says Dr. Loucq, who also formerly directed the International Vaccine Institute. "A transmission-blocking vaccine would be the most elegant solution to the problem of malaria."

Clustered rapid induction of apoptosis limits ZIKV and DENV-2 proliferation in the midguts of Aedes aegypti

Jasmine's 1st first-author paper (Yay Jasmine!) that dissects very early innate immune defense mechanisms of mosquito vectors following infection with flaviviruses.

UF Professor of Infectious Diseases, Dr. Rhoel Dinglasan, discusses the new saliva COVID tests