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Implementation of molecular method in routine malaria diagnosis and entomological studies

1 KIIT School of Biotechnology, KIIT University; Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
2 Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
3 Regional Office for Health and Family Welfare, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Rupenangshu K Hazra,
Regional Medical Research Centre, Chandrasekharpur, Nalco Square, Bhubaneswar, Odisha-751023 Bhubaneswar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.313973

Background & objectives: Molecular methods for malaria vector species and parasite identification have received great attention in recent years. Accurate and precise identification of the target species has direct medical and practical implications, such as in malaria diagnosis and vector dynamics study. Translation of molecular techniques will help in evaluation of epidemiological and entomological profile of malaria even in highly inaccessible areas where there is lack of an expert microscopist or entomologist. Methods: In the present study, we have developed a simple yet accurate molecular tool for malaria diagnosis as well as for malaria vector studies. We have standardized, simplified and improvised the DNA isolation (using Chelex; a cationic exchanger), its storage and multiplex PCR for parasite detection from dried blood spot (DBS) filter paper as well as malaria vector identification and infection status study. Results: The chelex-PCR based molecular method was highly sensitive (sensitivity >90%) and specific (specificity >80%) for parasite detection as well as vector species identification. This method has proven readily adaptable for use in the clinical diagnostic/research laboratory for epidemiological investigation and vector dynamics study that can challenge the conventional gold standard approach such as microscopy/ morphological methods not only in response to accuracy but also in relation to cost, time and technical expertise. Interpretation & conclusion: Transfer of this molecular technology from laboratory to field condition is highly essential for its availability to the common public rather than being restricted to only academic research. This can be achieved by implementation of the technology in terms of conducting mass training and awareness programs in various resource-limited endemic zones for the purpose of malaria elimination.

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