'Saliva represents a
potential alternative to blood for the assessment of anti-malarial antibody
levels', says authors.
mosquito-borne parasitic disease, remains as a global burden despite all the
medical advances. Though preventable and treatable it kills some 881,000 people
every year. Examination of blood sample is perhaps the most common way of
detecting malarial parasite. The peripheral blood smear examination is often regarded as the "gold
standard" for the diagnosis of malaria.
antibodies reflects exposure to parasites. Antibodies are proteins produced by
the immune system in response to pathogens. Antibodies are routinely measured
in sera or on dried blood spots.
Studies were performed
in two countries: Tanzania and Gambia. These aimed at developing a non-invasive
method would provide extra utility in sampling general populations. Saliva is
already in use in the detection of viral infections. Blood and saliva samples
from the same individuals were collected in unlinked surveys conducted in Tanzania
and Gambia. A total of 253 samples were studies. Results were encouraging. Data
demonstrate anti- malarial antibodies can be detected in saliva. Antibody
levels in saliva correlate strongly with levels in plasma.
Researches the list the
following advantages of using saliva as a tool:
It does not involve
the usage of sharps, it is easy to collect and store and could be used to
access communities with blood taboos.
It is also likely to
be more ethically acceptable for repeat sampling of the same individual.
relatively simple collection method will be potentially useful for general
population surveys, and particularly in migratory populations or those with
infrequent contact with health services or opposed to blood withdrawal", writes
authors. The results were published in BioMed Central, an authentic scientific
Use of saliva for
detecting malaria has tremendous potential in strengthening the global battle
against the rampant disease.
confirming and standardising the recovery of antibodies are required', adds the