Opinion article from INL and UMinho researchers points personalized malaria as the way to fight malaria

February 18, 2020


Malaria is a major public health concern that continues to claim the lives of more than 435,000 people each year. A key challenge in the eradication of any infectious disease is the detection of asymptomatic patients that could serve as a potential source of a future outbreak when control measures have relaxed. With the increasing human mobility (e.g., migration) from countries with endemic malaria to Europe, the threat of a resurgence of this disease in the country is high. 

Experts from INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Peng Weng Kung and the University of Minho, Isabel Veiga, shared their thoughts on how to fight a war-on-malaria using technological innovations in an article recently released in the Malaria Journal, one of the most authoritative journals within malaria community.

In this opinion article, focusing on the recent spectroscopic technologies, in particular the nuclear magnetic resonance-based diagnostic technologies, the authors offer their perspectives and highlight ways to bring these point-of-care technologies to the field settings. Obtaining time- and patient-unique ‘molecular fingerprint’ is the first step towards personalized malaria medicine, which has vast implications for the malaria elimination programme due to the increasing rate of phenotypic variations in the field. They also advocated an open-sourcing initiative to rapidly close the gap between technological innovations and field implementation.

Full article available here.