Laboratory testing data from more than 19 tropical and developing countries provides unique insight into potential for outbreak and resistance tracking using molecular diagnostics
PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY – September 14, 2016 – Labceutics announced today that data from one of its infectious disease lab mapping initiatives has been accepted as a late-breaker at the International Congress for Tropical Medicine and Malaria (ICTMM) taking place September 18 – 22 in Brisbane, Australia. Labceutics, a leading provider of market data from the global laboratory testing market, has been working in collaboration with infectious disease laboratories in more than 19 tropical and developing countries, as part of its goal to map the laboratory landscape for key infectious diseases including chagas, dengue, leishmaniasis, leprosy, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, river blindness, schistosomiasis, trypanosomiasis and tuberculosis.
Understanding the testing landscape – type of tests used, volume, turnaround time, epidemiology trends – for any indication has become a key part of guiding diagnostic partnerships alongside targeted drug development in infectious diseases.
“Labs in the developing world are well equipped to run Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) at the point of care, but these types of laboratory tests are limited in their ability to identify drug-resistant strains of infectious diseases or specific patient and pathogen genotypes,” said Dr. Jordan Clark, Managing Director, Labceutics.
The long term solution will require the integration of the RDTs and molecular laboratory testing techniques for a more comprehensive diagnostic. “RDTs are necessary for the front line, but moving towards elimination, we will need to use our existing infrastructures to enable more molecular testing for malaria and other infectious diseases. This capability would increase the power of detection, especially of disease reservoirs, at a level that RDTs cannot currently reach,” said Dr. Ogobara Doumbo, Director of the Malaria Research and Training Center, University of Bamako.
“A higher-value, more data-rich molecular diagnostic is key for better treatment and disease control,” added Ebenezer Baba, Africa Technical Director for the Malaria Consortium.
Highlights from the data accepted at ICTMM include:
- Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) do not have high enough detection sensitivity [i] [ii]
- Genotyping required for treatment selection remains a challenge and currently can only be delivered through molecular diagnostic testing, however, this will require dependence on the laboratory infrastructure
- In order to get appropriate resistance patterns, molecular testing will be required.
“What is clear from our data is that across high malaria-endemic markets, there are currently more than 60 laboratories that could provide an appropriate front-line resistance monitoring service in support of personalized treatment strategies for malaria. Given the emergence of resistance to these treatments and the benefits of patient surveillance, laboratories can play a much more substantial role in complementing malaria management,” said Dr. Jordan Clark, Labceutics. “We suspect we will find similar observations as we map other diseases such as trypanosomiasis and leprosy.”
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[iii] Correa, L., Considine, P., Vavatsikou, E., and Keeling, P. (2016) Improving the Malaria Diagnostic Strategy Leading to Better Control and Elimination, Belfast.