The study could help to develop new forms of non-invasive and simple to detect malaria in people who although they have no symptoms, carry the parasite and can spread the disease
Copy of the nature against malaria
'With the current media we can eliminate malaria'
they Are called Lexi, Freya and Sally and are able to detect if a person suffers from malaria sniffing their socks. These three dogs -a labrador retriever, a springer spaniel and a labrador - were trained specifically to detect this disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected anopheles mosquitoes.
The study was conducted in the School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene of London (LSHTM, for its acronym in English) in collaboration with the organization Medical Detection Dogs, an institution that is dedicated to train dogs to help detect diseases such as prostate cancer or alert to diabetic patients who are at risk of a drop in sugar.
Now, they have also shown their ability to detect malaria sniffing socks. "People with malaria parasites generated in his skin smells characteristic, and our study has revealed that dogs, thanks to its incredibly sensitive smell, can be trained to detect those odors even when it was available only as a garment which has carried the infected person," explains in a press release, Steven Lindsay, the principal investigator of this research, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The results have been presented during the annual Meeting to the American Society of Tropical Medicine held these days in New Orleans (USA).Children in the Gambia
The samples were taken from the Gambia, where the researchers recruited two hundred children of school age -between five and 14 years - of the region Upper River. Each one was given a pair of nylon socks and asked to sleep with them that night. The next day, collected the socks, frozen and sent by ship to the Uk, where they live, these dogs detectives.
at the same time, each child did a blood test to determine reliably which ones were healthy and which had contracted malaria even though they did not showed symptoms. Those who had the parasite and had fever were discarded, as the aim of the study is to investigate the development of methods to detect the disease in people who, though they have no symptoms, they can spread it. Finally, we collected 175 socks, 145 corresponding to healthy children and 30 children with malaria but have no symptoms.class="icon-foto_16_g"> The samples collected from the Gambia were transported to Uk MEDICAL DETECTION DOGS
Dobaño believes, however, that it is a little premature to conclude that the progress in the fight against this disease have been slowed down because, although "it is true that there has been a variation and it is possible that you have more financial resources, the increase in the number of cases could be due to other factors, such as the weather."
Meanwhile, work continues on the development of a vaccine-they are making essays with a score of them - to prevent this disease that today is typically treated with antimalarial drugs. "Are drugs that are quite effective but, as with antibiotics, after a few years it develops resistance, so that they investigate continuously new lines of treatment. Sometimes, combining drugs, you get that resistance appears more slowly, but it is a race against time. The same goes with the insect repellent, the mosquitoes become resistant to them," explains Dobaño.
The scientific is involved in the development of the vaccine RTS,s (Mosquirix), approved by the European medicines Agency, and it has come to phase 3: "Has shown a moderately effective, but their duration is limited. At the end of a year falls efficacy and does not reach the level that who has been marked", he explains. "We want to get these vaccines, for which you have invested a lot of time and money, are long-lasting because they are a fundamental piece" in the fight against malaria, says the researcher, who recalls that "it has not been possible to eradicate any disease in the world without a vaccine".
According to the criteria ofLearn more Updated Date: 31 October 2018, 19:01