Oral Presentation Australian Institute of Medical Scientists National Scientific Meeting 2013

Malaria Update - Recent advances and current concepts (#22)

Joseph Manitta 1
  1. Victorian infectious diseases reference laboratory, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia

In the last four decades there has been a global resurgence in the incidence of malaria resulting in an increase of imported malaria in developed countries. The extent of this is such that in the last decade the number of cases reported have shown a progressive increase especially with P.falciparum infection. The recent introduction of a fifth human malaria species P.Knowlesi has added a further dimension of complexity in the speciation of malaria.
The key to effective management of these infections is prompt and accurate diagnosis usually by microscopic examination of stained thick and thin films. This poses considerable responsibility on the scientist because it is on their findings that the clinical management depends and that the correct specie be identified in order for clinicians to initiate the correct drug treatment.
The rapid diagnostic tests (RDT’s) first introduced in the mid 1990’s and based on the capture of the parasite antigens from the peripheral blood  against the parasite antigen targets on the test strip, currently offer a new prospective to the conventional method of malaria diagnosis. The sensitivity and the specificity of these assays clearly depend on the type of the malaria antigen the kit detects.This presentation will include:-
(1) Malaria statistics.
(2) Pre and post malaria speciation self assessment.
(3) Brief overview on the morphology of malaria speciation.
(4) Comparison of RDT’s versus thick and thin films.
(5) Specificity, sensitivity and limitations of RDT’s and Malaria PCR.
(6) Scenarios/interpretation of RDT’s and Malaria PCR.
(7) Brief overview on recent advances and concepts in:- malaria
chemotherapy, immunology, host parasite interaction and vaccinology.
(8) Brief morphological characteristics of P.Knowlesi.