- A team of researchers from Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) has identified a new biomarker in the body called as glutamate dehydrogenase of malaria parasite.
- This promises to help develop a more sensitive diagnostic test for the malaria disease.
- Currently,tests used for diagnosing malaria are based on a gene,Histidine-rich Protein 2(HRP2) replete with amino acid Histidine.However,studies have shown that this gene is often absent in some strains of the malaria parasite.
- Consequently,significant levels of malaria infection were going undetected. Scientists across the world have been searching for new biomarkers that would be more effective.
- A biomarker or biological marker is a measurable indicator of some biological state or condition.Biomarkers are often measured and evaluated to examine normal biological processes,pathogenic processes or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.Biomarkers are used in many scientific fields.
- Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
- According to the World Malaria Report 2018, more than 200 million people were affected by malaria in 2017. India (4%) along with Nigeria Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Uganda accounted for nearly 50% of all malaria cases worldwide.
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