September 16, 2021

Mapping vectors and Disease Transmission: The Malaria Diagnostic Survey

Malaria is a parasitic disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium (Protozoan parasite) with high mortality rates. The disease vector is the female Anopheles mosquito. The two notable species most prevalent in India are P.vivax and P.falciparum. The infection with P.falciparum is the most deadly form of Malaria.

A typical Malarial infection produces fever, headache, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms. In areas of low transmission, people of all age groups are vulnerable. Adults can develop more severe and other complications. In areas of high transmission, children below five years, visitors, and migratory labor are more susceptible.

In India, states with extensive forests, hilly and tribal areas have a high incidence of malaria infections. The high incidence in these regions is also coupled with poor access due to rugged geographical terrain, conflict infested, and inadequate health infrastructure. From 2.08 million in 2001 to about four lakhs in 2018, the cases of Malaria have significantly decreased in India, registering a decline of 24%. As per WHO, 11 nations share 70 % of the Malaria burden. Only India has shown progress in reducing its disease burden. According to the World Malaria Report 2018, India will reduce its Malaria cases by 20-40% by 2020. The significant challenges which lie ahead in achieving this goal are the significantly “weak” Malaria surveillance in the country. As per the reports, only 8% of its estimated cases are reported in the national system.

Rapid detection tests in the form of cards are the most convenient used test for screening Malaria. The confirmation is more accessible and affordable with the use of ELISA tests. The Govt. of India has banned the use of antibody detecting rapid tests since March 2018. As approved, now the only antigen-based rapid diagnostic screening tests are in use. Lack of proper access to the endemic region is the primary bottleneck for controlling morbidity and mortality. This affects timely and effective diagnosis and treatment in Malaria endemic areas. The government has now emphasized that the use of whole blood-based antigen rapid kits and ELISA kits compounded with the gold standard Blood Smear Microscopy will help in reducing the erroneous diagnosis of the disease.

J Mitra & Co. offers a wide range of diagnostic kits to diagnose early infection of Malaria. They are in the form of Rapid cards and ELISA tests. The antigen detecting rapid cards are easy on the finger prick mechanism. The ELISA kit uses whole blood samples and is user-friendly and cheap to use. It meets the latest guidelines of CDSCO meant for the blood banks. Blood banks are the primary repository of donor blood and have outreach to a large population. The law mandates the screening of classified diseases for all blood samples recorded in the blood bank. Hence ELISA kits are essential for efficient screening and maintaining a record of samples.

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