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TitleOptical spectrophotometry as a promising method for quantification and tage differentiation of plasmodium falciparum parasites
Author(s)Baptista, Vitória
Silva, Miguel
Ferreira, Gabriel M
Calçada, Carla
Minas, Graça
Veiga, Maria Isabel
Catarino, Susana Oliveira
Plasmodium falciparum
Malaria, Falciparum
Issue date13-Jan-2023
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
CitationV Baptista, M Silva, GM Ferreira, C Calçada, G Minas MI Veiga and SO Catarino, Optical spectrophotometry as a promising method for quantification and stage differentiation of Plasmodium falciparum parasites, ACS Infectious Diseases, 9(1), 140-149, 2023 (DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.2c00484)
Abstract(s)Malaria is one of the most life-threatening infectious diseases worldwide, claiming half a million lives yearly. Prompt and accurate diagnosis is crucial for disease control and elimination. Currently used diagnostic methods require blood sampling and fail to detect low-level infections. At the symptomatic stage of infection, the parasites feed on red blood cells' (RBCs) hemoglobin, forming inert crystals, the hemozoin, in the process. Thus, along with parasite maturation inside the RBCs, the hemoglobin and hemozoin proportion is inversely related, and they generate specific optical spectra, according to their concentration. Herein, to address the issues of finger prick sampling and the lack of sensitivity of the parasitological test, we explored the optical features of Plasmodium falciparum-infected RBCs through absorbance and reflectance spectrophotometric characterization, aiming for their detection. This is the first work fully characterizing the spectrophotometric properties of P. falciparum-infected RBCs by using only 16 specific wavelengths within the visible optical spectra and two different post-processing algorithms. With such an innovative methodology, low-level infections can be detected and quantified, and early- and late-stage development can be clearly distinguished, not only improving the current detection limits but also proving the successful applicability of spectrophotometry for competitive and accurate malaria diagnosis.
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AccessRestricted access (UMinho)
Appears in Collections:CMEMS - Artigos em revistas internacionais/Papers in international journals

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