Diagnosing malaria may soon be as easy taking a simple breath test, according to researchers.
“We really envision this working just like a breathalyzer test when you get pulled over for drunk driving,” said Dr. Audrey Odom, an assistant professor of pediatrics and molecular biology at Washington University in St. Louis.
The device, still in development, would be comparable in cost or less expensive than current diagnostic tools such as a Malaria Rapid Diagnosis Test and wouldn’t require blood samples or trained personnel to use, according to Odom.
The work began in the lab where Odom and her colleagues discovered the parasite produces aromatic organic compounds called terpenes that give off a scent that attracts mosquito’s.
“Those type of compounds when they are in the blood can actually get into the lungs and out in the gas that you exhale,” she said.
To read the full article, click here