Australia’s support for Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) is paying dividends in early 2018, with the development of improved diagnostics for malaria and new advances in combatting drug resistant tuberculosis (TB).
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) has announced the launch of new tools to assess the limits of detection of the different malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) currently available. These tools will improve the quality and reliability of RDTs in the field by ensuring that degradation of tests over time does not impair diagnoses, and that those diagnosed get the right treatments.
RDTs are a reliable malaria diagnosis method and allow for the discrimination between two of the most common and fatal species of the disease. They offer a highly cost effective option compared to the costs of microscopy and laboratory equipment and technicians. RDTs also allow for a higher rate of testing throughout populations, ensuring that rates of misdiagnosis and non-treatment are kept low.
FIND also announced the publication of a new approach to predicting the development of new strains of drug-resistant TB. The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal grades and categorises mutations associated with predicting drug resistance to support development of new rapid diagnostics and enable effective targeted antibiotic therapy for patients with DR-TB.
Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND, said, “The global TB consortium and the partners involved in this study are helping to solve one of the greatest challenges in TB diagnostics.”
FIND’s participation in this study was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Government and the Australian government. Australia contributed $10 million over three years from 2015-2018 to FIND to accelerate the development and uptake of better diagnostic tools and testing for TB and malaria.
For more details, see the FIND announcements:
PLDH Recombinant Panels for Malaria Diagnostic Tests (RDTs)
New Approach for Rapidly Predicting Drug Resistant Tuberculosis