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Dried blood spots: a robust tool for malaria surveillance in countries targeting elimination

1 ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi-110077, India
2 International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi-110067, India

Correspondence Address:
Minu Nain,
ICMR-National Institute of Malaria Research, New Delhi-110077, India.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.361169

With the advancements in analytical and molecular techniques, Dried Blood Spots(DBS) are re-emerging as attractive and cost-effective alternatives for global health surveillance. The use of DBS has been well characterized in the neonatal screening of metabolic diseases, therapeutic screening as well as in epidemiological studies for biomonitoring. Malaria is one such infectious disease where DBS use can expedite molecular surveillance for assessing drug resistance and for refining drug usage policies. In India, malaria cases have reduced significantly over the past decade but to achieve malaria elimination by 2030, country-wide DBS-based screening should be conducted to identify the presence of molecular markers of artemisinin resistance and to study parasite reservoirs in asymptomatic populations. DBS has wide applications in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomic studies concerning both host and pathogen factors. Hence, it is a comprehensive tool for malaria surveillance that can capture both host and parasite information. In this review, we elucidate the current and prospective role of DBS in malaria surveillance and its application in studies ranging from genetic epidemiology, parasite and vector surveillance, drug development and polymorphisms to ultimately how they can pave the roadmap for countries aiming malaria elimination

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