International Health Care Clinic

International Health Care Clinic

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2017.11.8

Malaria breath test

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Article of the BBC NEWS on November 7, 2017 reported that Scientists tried out a crude prototype Malaria breath test in Africa.  They find a distinctive “breath-print” and it uses to detect malaria in children, but it still needs developing to become a routine device.

One of odors is as similar as a natural smell that attract insects that spread malaria. 

The researcher from Washington University in St. Louis explained that pine trees and conifers give off these terpenes to summon mosquitos and other pollinating insects. 

They also believe that people with malaria may have similar odor in their breath, and it is attracted the insects that are spread disease.  The detective device still needs some improvement, and it will offer a new cheap and easy way to help diagnose malaria.

 The prototype breath detective detects six different odors or volatile organic compounds to spot case of malaria. 

The researchers collect 35 different odors from feverish children who have malaria and some of them are not.  From the result of tests, they get effective result from 29 children and success rate is 83%.  83% may be high but researcher think that the result of this test is not high enough and should be more accurate.

Now, according to scientists from Washington University, rapid blood test for malaria are already available but it can be expensive and technically challenge.  A non-invasive method of detection that does not require blood samples or technical expertise could be of great benefit.

Professor from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said that this test does not need the sample of blood, and it may be easy to detect asymptomatic malaria, and we move forward to control and eliminate malaria. He also said this device still needs to work, and it will help to detect malaria.