PATH and our partner Quansys Biosciences, Inc., recently launched a highly sensitive malaria diagnostic tool designed to help researchers tackle the challenge of ensuring detection and treatment of malaria. The Q-Plex™ Human Malaria Array (5-Plex) is a quantitative immunoassay that supports researchers in creating more sensitive malaria rapid diagnostic tests and will aid in public health surveillance by simultaneously measuring multiple malaria antigens. Better rapid diagnostic tests that can be easily used in remote settings are critical to making sure people with malaria infections get diagnosed and get the right treatment.
Many current rapid diagnostic tests for malaria function by detecting the histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) to identify P. falciparum malaria and the Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) antigen to diagnose P. vivax malaria and all other human malaria species. However, many current rapid diagnostic tests may not detect lower concentrations of the antigens or malaria parasites that do not produce HRP2.
The Q-Plex™ Human Malaria Array (5-Plex) uses a single sample to measure both HRP2 and pLDH at low concentrations, as well as quantifying P. vivax- and P. falciparum-specific lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) epitopes to distinguish between malaria species and C-reactive protein as an indicator of inflammation. This allows researchers who use the Q-Plex Human Malaria Array (5-Plex) as a reference test to evaluate rapid diagnostic tests in the development pipeline that detect malaria infections with low parasite concentrations and address the challenge of diagnosing P. falciparum malaria parasite strains that do not produce HRP2 and therefore are not detected by tests designed to identify the antigen.
PATH has also worked with Quansys to maximize the benefits of multiplexed diagnostic tools in the past. In 2018, the two organizations introduced a Q-Plex array that simultaneously measures seven micronutrients and health conditions to boost public health surveillance efforts.