How Do You Solve a Problem Like Malaria?

Photo courtesy of NIH/NIAID

Malaria affects nearly half of the world’s population, with almost 80% of cases in sub-Saharan Africa and India. While there have been many strides in education and prevention campaigns over the last 30 years, there were over 200 million cases documented in 2017 with over 400,000 deaths, and the majority were young children. Despite being preventable and treatable, malaria continues to thrive in areas that are high risk for transmission. Recently, clinicians started rolling out use of the first approved vaccine, though clinical trials showed it is only about 30% effective. Meanwhile, researchers must continue to focus on innovative efforts to improve diagnostics, treatment and prevention to reduce the burden in these areas.

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A Potential Single-Tube Multiplex Assay for Detecting Dengue Virus in the Field

Countries affected by dengue. By Percherie (Distribution de la dengue sur Commons) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
In areas of the world where the electricity is intermittent, resources are limited and transporting bulky equipment and reagents that are sensitive to temperature fluctuations is difficult, diagnosis of viruses like dengue can be challenging. If you could reduce or eliminate the need for electricity dependent equipment for diagnostic assays without sacrificing sensitivity or specificity, it would be a boon to field workers. An article published in PLOS ONE describes how researchers developed a multiplex isothermal amplification method that could assess a potential dengue infection with a visual real-time or endpoint detection in a single tube. Continue reading “A Potential Single-Tube Multiplex Assay for Detecting Dengue Virus in the Field”