The chances of survival of malaria patients increase the earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated. This is of critical importance, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which has a high number of malaria patients, limited resources and frequently occurring coinfections. Clinically, malaria can often barely be distinguished from septicaemia, making laboratory tests necessary to differentiate between the two. Only with a clear diagnosis can the correct drug be administered. However, to date, reliable, easy-to-use and affordable point-of-care diagnostics that can be used to differentiate malaria from blood stream infections and coinfections do not exist. This is a fundamental issue for DZIF researchers as they intend to develop an innovative biomarker-based, diagnostic bedside test that can distinguish between malaria, septicaemia and coinfections.
Malaria Research on the Ground
The DZIF works in close collaboration with African Partner Institutions to clinically test new diagnostic methods. The infrastructure of the four African Partner Sites is continually being improved and numerous patient samples have been obtained for the study, which are now being used to develop biomarker-based diagnostic tests.