Background: Good-quality artemisinin drugs are essential for malaria treatment, but increasing prevalence of poorquality artemisinin drugs in many endemic countries hinders effective management of malaria cases. Methods: To develop a point-of-care assay for rapid identification of counterfeit and substandard artemisinin drugs for resource-limited areas, we used specific monoclonal antibodies against artesunate and artemether, and developed prototypes of lateral flow dipstick assays. In this pilot test, we evaluated the feasibility of these dipsticks under different endemic settings and their performance in the hands of untrained personnel. Results: The results showed that the dipstick tests can be successfully performed by different investigators with the included instruction sheet. None of the artemether and artesunate drugs collected from public pharmacies in different endemic countries failed the test. Conclusion: It is possible that the simple dipstick assays, with future optimization of test conditions and sensitivity, can be used as a qualitative and semi-quantitative assay for rapid screening of counterfeit artemisinin drugs in endemic settings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases