Malaria is one of the most common diseases in the world. More than half the world population lives in malaria-infected areas. Over 200 million cases annually result in up to 3 million deaths each year; a majority of which are in young children. In non-endemic areas, it is one of the most important imported diseases, resulting in a number of deaths in late-diagnosed or unsuspected cases each year.

The disease is caused by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito. There are four species causing human malaria: P.falciparum, P.vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale. The disease may also be transmitted by transfusion of infected blood. Once in the blood the sporozoite makes its way to the liver where for the next 2 weeks merozoites are produced. These are released into the blood where they invade the red cells and produce more merozoites, causing the cells to rupture. It is this rupturing that is responsible for the clinical symptoms.

Of the four species, P. falciparum is the most common and the most virulent, causing most malaria-related deaths. P. vivax is the next most common cause of malaria. Although rarely fatal, this form of malaria can be accompanied by severe clinical symptoms. It is a common cause of malaria in S.E. Asia and S. America.

People infected with Plasmodium spp. form antibodies in response. The DIAsource MALARIA ELISA kit is designed to detect antibodies occurring in subjects infected with P.falciparum, P.vivax, P.ovale and P.malariae


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