Researchers at the University of Florida have developed an easy-to-use saliva test to screen for malaria parasites.
The spit-test has some advantages over the conventional blood test including the following:
1. The saliva test requires only spitting into a tube versus the blood test which requires skin pricks.
2. Blood tests require infrastructures such as mobile clinics. On the other hand, the spit test can be administered outside a clinical setting.
3. The spit test helps achieve early, sub-clinical detection of malaria which is crucial to malaria eradication because individuals who carry the parasite without exhibiting symptoms are the reservoir for transmission of the disease.
4. Some malaria parasites have acquired a mutation and are therefore no longer easily detected by the blood-based tests. The saliva test avoids this problem.
New saliva-based test detects malaria before symptoms appear