Improving Malaria Prevention With Biotechnology Integration

Malaria prevention is critical for multinational companies that operate in areas with a high risk of the disease because malaria not only adversely affects the health of workers but also leads to economic losses associated with mortality and morbidity. A global company with operations in areas with malaria-transmission risk has an established workplace malaria-control program that uses a multipronged approach of awareness, bite prevention, chemoprophylaxis, and early diagnosis and treatment to protect the health and safety of company workers.

Chemoprophylaxis is an emphasized component of the malaria-control program. Adherence to medications is the process by which patients take their medications as prescribed. Laboratory methods have been developed to test urine for the presence of malaria-preventive medicines. To gain efficiency and real-time results, a rapid detection test (RDT) for mefloquine, proguanil, and doxycycline was developed. This paper describes the development of the immunochromatographic test for quick detection of the malaria-preventive medicines. The test integration and observed results also are presented for potential adoption by organizations seeking to improve adherence to malaria prevention for workers in endemic locations.

The first tests successfully developed were for proguanil and mefloquine, followed two years later by doxycycline. The RDT validity was tested against the standard laboratory techniques, which use high-performance liquid chromatography. The paper describes the validation process adopted for the doxycycline test because it closely mirrors what was done with mefloquine and proguanil.

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