The launch of Alere Malaria Ag P.f. provides a new tool for rapid detection of low levels of the histidine rich protein II (HRP-II) antigen of Plasmodium falciparum, a protozoan parasite that causes malaria, Alere Inc. said in a release.
Developed by Alere and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the new tool will diagnose asymptomatic patients who host low levels of the parasite and determine infection in only 20 minutes.
Locating and diagnosing asymptomatic patients helps reduce the malaria reservoir and will lead to breaking the cycle of disease transmission.
“Breaking the cycle of malaria transmission requires identifying all infected individuals, but until now point-of-care diagnostic tests have not been sensitive enough to reliably detect asymptomatic infections,” Alere Global President of Infectious Disease Avi Pelossof said in the release. “The Alere Malaria Ag P.f represents a game-changing tool to empower health care workers to identify asymptomatic individuals in even the most remote settings, contributing to a reduced malaria reservoir in communities – key strategies in eliminating this devastating disease.”
Malaria is transmitted from person to person by bites from the female Anopheles mosquitoes. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly half of the world's population is at risk of contracting malaria. There were 212 million diagnosed cases and 429.000 deaths from malaria in 2015. Ninety-one countries and areas were affected by malaria transmission.