Ultra-Sensitive Malaria Tests
Rapid tests for malaria have been very useful in lowering malaria mortality particularly when deployed in an integrated program that combines preventive measures, education, diagnosis and treatment. However, conventional malaria RDTs do not detect low levels of parasites typically seen in asymptomatic malaria. By using fluorescent detectors, the sensitivity of the test can be improved several fold, down to less than 10 parasites per microliter.
Vista is committed to promoting the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) in resource-limited countries not only through the sale of tests by the manufacturers we work with, but also through additional field work.
2009 to Present – Wetar Island, Indonesia
Since Vista’s initial fieldwork on Wetar Island, a remote island of eastern Indonesia, we have continued to work with The Community Empowerment Project at Batutua Tembaga Raya/Wetar Copper Project. In 2010 the Vista team helped writeThe Wetar Malaria Initiative – Deployment of Rapid Diagnostic Testing and Treatment for Malaria Control. We then met with various offices of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Indonesia to obtain permission for the study. With the donations of RDTs from J Mitra and Lab Hepatika, and medication provided by the MoPH, we were ready to begin a three year study involving the testing and treating of all 23 villages on the Island of Wetar. Due to delays in licensing of the Copper Project with the Indonesian government, the project was postponed until now. We will continue to support this project as it will help find and treat all the asymptomatic carriers of malaria, which is critical to malaria control
We are also newly involved with the Manchester University Medical Practicum which will return to the remote communities in the Alto Wangki/Bocay region of Nicaragua . In 2015 they will conduct a population screening of Chagas disease. Because Chagas disease can be asymptomatic for many years after acute infection, the identification of patients with chronic infection through the use of RDTs is crucial to appropriate treatment. Additionally, population screening, using RDTs, can provide useful information about the role of using RDTs in remote areas. Our current goal is to help obtain the necessary high quality RDTs needed for this practicum.