Current Tools to Combat Malaria-with Special Focus on Plasmodium knowlesi: Day 2
MESA Correspondents bring you cutting-edge coverage from the Current Tools to Combat Malaria-with Special Focus on Plasmodium knowlesi workshop.
Day 2: 5th March 2019
The dedicated participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
Session 1. Molecular diagnostic tools for knowlesi malaria
Assoc. Prof Dr Lau Yee Ling gave a lecture on the current molecular diagnostic tools for malaria parasites, including the simian malaria P. knowlesi. Specifically, WHO recommends the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to confirm P. knowlesi cases in the endemic countries.
The existing diagnostic methods primarily comprise three techniques, namely microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), and PCR. Nevertheless, the microscopic technique requires expertise and may produce false positive results, whereas RDTs are not sensitive and cannot differentiate the parasites up to a species level. PCR is the alternative approach because it is potentially rapid; sensitive and specific; and allows species identification, even though training and equipment are required, and it is expensive. There are various PCR methods for diagnosis, including the most widely used nested PCR. The Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) has been favourably adopted because it is rapid (less than 1 hour), sensitive and specific, easy to use, affordable and ideal for resource-limited environments.
Dr Lau Yee Ling sharing the LAMP protocol with the participants
Session 2. Practical: PCR and LAMP
The practical class for PCR and LAMP was demonstrated by Dr Jeremy R de Silva and Dr Lai Meng Yee. Participants were given a hands-on experience in performing LAMP assay for P. knowlesi and nested PCR assay for all five human malaria parasites.
Practical class for nested PCR and LAMP assay
Session 3. Practical: Plasmodium knowlesi culture
The participants were trained by Dr Cheong Fei Wen and Dr Jonathan Liew for P. knowlesi culture. This practical class included medium preparation, synchronisation (separation of malaria life stages), freezing and thawing parasite isolates, and blood purification. This practical provided first-hand knowledge to participants regarding the culture of P. knowlesi.
Dr Liew (left) and Dr Fei Wen (right)
This blog was written by Dr Lucas Low Van Lun (Tropical Infectious Diseases Research and Education Centre (TIDREC), University of Malaya) as part of the MESA Correspondents program. Editorial support has been provided by Dr Indra Vythilingam.