Unit | Molecular Diagnostics

The unit develops new tools for diagnosing parasitic diseases and for genotyping parasite strains and species. New diagnostic tests are applied to population-wide studies in endemic areas. Successful research products are transferred to the field and used for molecular monitoring of disease interventions. They are also used for individual diagnosis in patients referred to Swiss TPH. The scientific tasks of the service side are shaped in close collaboration with the medical personnel from the Swiss TPH Medical Department.

Our Focus

The unit's projects focus on malaria, Leishmania and HIV. We aim to develop novel laboratory tests and strategies for analysing epidemiological data. A major aim is to support malaria eliminiation efforts in our partner countries and to provide the knowledge-base for planning and choosing effective control strategies.

Zaw M.T et al. Asymptomatic and sub-microscopic malaria infection in Kayah State, eastern Myanmar. Malar J. 2017;16:138. DOI: 10.1186/s12936-017-1789-9

Letang E et al. Cohort profile: the Kilombero and Ulanga Antiretroviral Cohort (KIULARCO): a prospective HIV cohort in rural Tanzania. Swiss Med Wkly. 2017;147:w14485. DOI: 10.4414/smw.2017.14485

Messerli C, Hofmann N.E, Beck H.P, Felger I. Critical evaluation of molecular monitoring in malaria drug efficacy trials and pitfalls of length-polymorphic markers. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2017;61(1):e01500-16. DOI: 10.1128/AAC.01500-16

Ding X.C et al. Defining the next generation of Plasmodium vivax diagnostic tests for control and elimination: target product profiles. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017;11(4):e0005516. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005516

Lerch A et al. Development of amplicon deep sequencing markers and data analysis pipeline for genotyping multi-clonal malaria infections. BMC Genomics. 2017;18:864. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-017-4260-y