Malaria control measures have been in use for years but have not completely curbed the spread of infection. Ultimately, global elimination is the goal. A major playmaker in the various approaches to reaching the goal is the issue of proper diagnosis. Various diagnostic techniques were adopted in different regions and geographical locations over the decades, and these have invariably produced diverse outcomes. In this review, we looked at the various approaches used in malaria diagnostics with a focus on methods favorably used during pre-elimination and elimination phases as well as in endemic regions. Microscopy, rapid diagnostic testing (RDT), loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are common methods applied depending on prevailing factors, each with its strengths and limitations. As the drive toward the elimination goal intensifies, the search for ideal, simple, fast, and reliable point-of-care diagnostic tools is needed more than ever before to be used in conjunction with a functional surveillance system supported by the ideal vaccine.
Subject(s)Malaria, Falciparum , Malaria , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Goals , Humans , Malaria/diagnosis , Malaria/prevention & control , Malaria, Falciparum/epidemiology , Microscopy/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
Malaria elimination remains an important goal that requires the adoption of sophisticated science and management strategies in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. The advent of next generation sequencing (NGS) is making whole genome sequencing (WGS) a standard today in the field of life sciences, as PCR genotyping and targeted sequencing provide insufficient information compared to the whole genome. Thus, adapting WGS approaches to malaria parasites is pertinent to studying the epidemiology of the disease, as different regions are at different phases in their malaria elimination agenda. Therefore, this review highlights the applications of WGS in disease management, challenges of WGS in controlling malaria parasites, and in furtherance, provides the roles of WGS in pursuit of malaria reduction and elimination. WGS has invaluable impacts in malaria research and has helped countries to reach elimination phase rapidly by providing required information needed to thwart transmission, pathology, and drug resistance. However, to eliminate malaria in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with high malaria transmission, we recommend that WGS machines should be readily available and affordable in the region.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have implemented a wide range of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Monitoring and documenting government strategies during the COVID-19 crisis is crucial to understand the progression of the epidemic. Following a content analysis strategy of existing public information sources, we developed a specific hierarchical coding scheme for NPIs. We generated a comprehensive structured dataset of government interventions and their respective timelines of implementation. To improve transparency and motivate collaborative validation process, information sources are shared via an open library. We also provide codes that enable users to visualise the dataset. Standardization and structure of the dataset facilitate inter-country comparison and the assessment of the impacts of different NPI categories on the epidemic parameters, population health indicators, the economy, and human rights, among others. This dataset provides an in-depth insight of the government strategies and can be a valuable tool for developing relevant preparedness plans for pandemic. We intend to further develop and update this dataset until the end of December 2020.