New Saliva Test for Malaria Could Detect Disease Before Symptoms Present

Scientists believe new test could eliminate the disease


A new saliva test for malaria, transmitted by mosquitoes, can detect the disease before symptoms appear. (Source: CDC)

 Scientists believe a new saliva test for malaria could eliminate the disease, as it detects malaria before symptoms occur. An estimated 435,000 people die each year from the deadly disease, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes. The World Health Organization reports progress on the disease may be stalling, as malaria cases increased by 3.5 million from 2016 to 2017.

The new test, which involves spitting into a tube,  uses a biomarker in saliva to detect the presence of malaria. Test results are given almost immediately, and the test is less invasive than current blood draw tests. The saliva test can also be used outside of a clinical setting, increasing the chances health officials can identify and treat human carriers of the disease.

Learn more about the new test here.