Towards Lab-On-A-Chip Diagnostics for Malaria Elimination

PI: Catherine Klapperich

Malaria continues to be one of the most devastating diseases impacting global health. Although there have been significant reductions in global malaria incidence and mortality rates over the past 17 years, the disease remains endemic throughout the world, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization has put forth ambitious milestones moving toward a world free of malaria as part of the United Nations Millennium Goals. Mass screening and treatment of symptomatic and asymptomatic malaria infections in endemic regions is integral to these goals and requires diagnostics that are both sensitive and affordable. Lab-on-a-chip technologies provide a path toward sensitive, portable, and affordable diagnostic platforms. Here, we review and compare currently-available and emerging lab-on-a-chip diagnostic approaches in three categories: (1) protein-based tests, (2) nucleic acid tests, and (3) cell-based detection. For each category, we highlight the opportunities and challenges in diagnostics development for malaria elimination, and comment on their applicability to different phases of elimination strategies.

Funding Agencies:Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Africa