A Workshop was held on ‘Advances in the Diagnosis of Malaria, in the Department of Parasitology, PGIMER, Chandigarh. The Workshop was attended by around 40 participants from various Medical Colleges and Hospitals in North India including New Delhi, Aligarh, Amritsar, Patiala, Rohtak, Dehradun and other places. Out of the two types of malaria (caused by Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum), falciparum malaria is more severe and many times can be fatal as it may affect brain in form of cerebral malaria. The cerebral malaria kills the patients in few days time if not diagnosed promptly and treated effectively. Therefore an early and accurate diagnosis of malaria and its type is very important for correct and prompt treatment. Dr. Jane Carlton, from Centre for Genomics and Systems Biology, New York University, New York, USA spoke about the Centre for complex malaria in India. The centre is being developed with collaboration of National Institute of Malaria Research (NIMR) New Delhi and New York University, USA. The joint project is studying the problem of malaria in highly endemic areas of Orissa and Gujarat States of India.
Prof. M. L. Dubey, Deptt. of Parasitology, PGI, spoke about the Recent Advances in the diagnosis of this potentially fatal disease, malaria. The diagnosis of malaria is generally done by examination of blood sample. But accurate diagnosis requires expertise and experience. Apart from microscopy of blood samples, other newer techniques like antigen detection tests and molecular techniques have become available in last decades. He described the advances made in last decade including Rapid antigen detection tests and molecular techniques like Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Real-Time PCR (RT-PCR).
Later the participants were shown all the techniques practically in various laboratories of the Department of Parasitology.