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On target for new NTD products


The Diagnostics Program has launched Diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases: defining the best tools through target product profiles, a report on the development of target product profiles (TPPs) for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

TPPs are a crucial step in product development for new diagnostics for NTDs, as they define the essential features of new tests so researchers and manufacturers can develop the best solutions. With the input of the NTD community, PATH constructed TPPs for diagnostic tools for three NTDs (schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and blinding trachoma) and two use cases (monitoring mass drug administration and post-elimination surveillance).

The full TPPs are available here. The process of developing these TPPs and summaries of the findings are described in the report.


Building capacity for G6PD testing

Supporting P. vivax malaria elimination


Laboratory staff in Cambodia training on use of G6PD deficiency diagnostics. Photo: PATH/N. LaRue

From 2014 to 2015, PATH staff trained laboratory personnel in eight countries on the use of a standardized protocol to perform the gold-standard test for glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) enzyme deficiency.

The trainings helped provide quality assurance for phase III clinical trials for tafenoquine, an investigational medicine that will potentially support elimination of Plasmodium vivax malaria. Tafenoquine is being developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Medicines for Malaria Venture to meet the needs of P. vivax malaria patients and the malaria community for new radical cure treatments.

Read the article


In the field, in the laboratory

Nigerian researcher collaborates with PATH on onchocerciasis field work


Visiting Nigerian researcher Olabanji Surakat in front of Seattle’s Space Needle. PATH/K. Barrett.

This summer, PATH hosted Olabanji Surakat, a researcher and doctoral candidate at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, in Nigeria.

During his visit, Banji, as he prefers to be called, worked closely with the onchocerciasis team to conduct Ov16 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests on dried blood spots to compare against the results of the SD BIOLINE Onchocerciasis IgG4 Rapid Test he had used in a recent field study. The nearly 4,000 blood samples came from several areas of his home country of Nigeria, collected as part of the region’s neglected tropical diseases control and elimination program. He hopes that someday his research will help eliminate onchocerciasis.

We spoke with Banji just before he returned home about his work, what he learned at PATH, and the challenges he comes across working toward onchocerciasis elimination in Nigeria.

Read the full interview


Eradication of polio is in the bag


A prototype of the polio environmental surveillance tool, South Africa, June 2015. University of Washington/Scott Meschke

After decades of persistent vaccination campaigns, poliovirus has been eliminated from most of the world. The remaining pockets are in just a few countries and these regions are now the focus of eradication programs. Because the virus is shed via feces by asymptomatic carriers, relying on case identification of acute flaccid paralysis to map its presence in these areas is insufficient, so surveillance of sewage is needed.

This is why PATH and the University of Washington have been developing two devices to improve on current polio surveillance and diagnostic tools. In the past several months, the team has refined designs, started validation studies in Kenya and preparing for a study in Pakistan, assessed the diagnostic tool on clinical specimens, and trained laboratory and field partners on both devices. This is all part of what it takes to eradicate a deadly disease.

Read more about our work to end polio on the PATH blog.





November 2015 - Issue 2






ASTMH 2015





We value your feedback. Please contact us with what you would like to see featured, interesting news from your organization, and any questions or comments you have at dxinfo@path.org.

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