Alternative Methods - Methods of Detection of Parasites

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Microbiology : Protozoa

Alternative methods are being developed for the detection of parasites; these include mass spectrometry (MS) and biosensors. MS can be used by identifying known surface characteristics of appropriate life cycle forms.


ALTERNATIVE METHODS

 

Alternative methods are being developed for the detection of parasites; these include mass spectrometry (MS) and biosensors. MS can be used by identifying known surface characteristics of appropriate life cycle forms. This type of MS uses low energy electrons to generate a fingerprint of the cells. Other mass spectrometry methods can generate fingerprints based on parasite-derived peptides and metabolites. These can be detected easily with a high level of sensitivity and can be used in complex mixtures that would be present in clinical and environmental samples. Over the past 10 years the production of kits for near patient testing has driven the development of detection technology and this has generated interest in the use of biosensors. These sensors detect the presence of ‘marker molecules’ that are specific to a particular pathogen and utilize mechanical, electro-chemical or piezoelectric methods to generate a signal that can be detected. Such sensors can be combined onto ‘chips’ to detect a range of pathogens.

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