Improving safety for antimalarial drugs | MMVPosted: August 31, 2012
MMV and GSK are working with several organisations towards developing a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for G6PD-deficiency, that should be affordable, requires little infrastructure and is suitable for use by staff with minimal training in remote tropical areas.
There are several challenges in developing a suitable RDT, including the need to obtain a stable read-out and the variation of apparent G6PD activity according to ambient temperature. The first difficulty arises because G6PD-deficient samples continue to generate product after a normal sample has exhausted all of its substrate. So a deficient sample may not give a stable “deficient” reading, but instead proceed to produce a false “normal” reading. Another difficulty arises because, like other enzymes, the activity of G6PD increases with temperature. Performing a test a few degrees above the temperature used to calibrate the RDT can cause a sample with moderate G6PD-deficiency to exhibit a false “normal” level of activity.