Manufacture and Testing of a High Field Gradient Magnetic Fractionation System for Quantitative Detection of Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytes
- Conference date: 25–29 May 2010
- Location: Rostock, (Germany)
Plasmodium falciparum is the most dangerous of the human malaria parasite species and accounts for millions of clinical episodes of malaria each year in tropical countries. The pathogenicity of Plasmodium falciparum is a result of its ability to infect erythrocytes where it multiplies asexually over 48 h or develops into sexual forms known as gametocytes. If sufficient male and female gametocytes are taken up by a mosquito vector, it becomes infectious. Therefore, the presence and density of gametocytes in human blood is an important indicator of human‐to‐mosquito transmission of malaria. Recently, we have shown that high field gradient magnetic fractionation improves gametocyte detection in human blood samples. Here we present two important new developments. Firstly we introduce a quantitative approach to replace the previous qualitative method and, secondly, we describe a novel method that enables cost‐effective production of the magnetic fractionation equipment required to carry out gametocyte quantification. We show that our custom‐made magnetic fractionation equipment can deliver results with similar sensitivity and convenience but for a small fraction of the cost.
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