Despite many advances in vector control, diagnostic screening and effective treatments, Malaria continues to have a devastating impact on health around the world.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a Global Technical Strategy for malaria 2016 – 2030 in 2015 with the aim to reduce global malaria incidence and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030. Technical solutions include the control of the mosquito vector, improved treatment and prophylaxis regimes, and effective screening and diagnosis.
Diagnosis of malaria is typically carried out by manual examination of a thick or thin blood smears stained by Romanowski methods at a pH of 7.2. Other tests include rapid testing techniques and PCR.
Most patients presenting with malaria symptoms will have a Full blood count performed. In addition, these symptoms are similar to those of other infections, including Dengue, which can be endemic in the same area.
HORIBA Medical has developed infectious screening flags from full blood count data, based on innovative and contemporary machine-learning techniques and thousands of measurement points.
The clinical performances of these flags have been assessed through on site validation studies performed for Malaria (both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum) and Dengue with high clinical sensitivity and specificity.
The automated suspicion flags are combined with the routine Full Blood Count and hence provide rapid screening for no additional running costs.
The infectious screening flags were first introduced on the hematology analyzers Microsemi CRP LC-667G and ABX Pentra XL80, Pentra XLR for Malaria species.
This technology was then further developed on the Yumizen H550 (Screening for Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax and Dengue), and are now available on the New Yumizen H500 & H550 Hematology Analyzer together with the instruments’ immature WBC counts and Neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio for further valuable information for infectious disease diagnosis and monitoring.
The results give rise to a pathology comment on the main result of the full blood count and are also presented as a scoring flag in the ‘expert’ menu.
As recognised by the WHO, it is a combination of developments and interventions that is required to combat Malaria and other endemic diseases. Technological advances such as instrumentation flagging have their part to play in this ongoing battle.
Infectious screening flags in routine hematology on HORIBA Medical Yumizen H550
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