HomeProjectsBiomedical Sciences and Healthcare TechnologiesDiagnosis of Malaria in Saliva via a new Biomarker: The Activity of Plasmodium Topoisomerase I

Diagnosis of Malaria in Saliva via a new Biomarker: The Activity of Plasmodium Topoisomerase I

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. HO Yi Ping Megan

    Department of Biomedical Engineering

  • Funding

    Danish Research Council, and

    CUHK Start-up Fund

  • Collaboration

    Aarhus University, Denmark

  • Patent


Infectious disease represents a major threat to global health causing millions of human lives often due to late diagnosis and inefficient treatment. Many of the currently prevalent diagnostics methods are not preferred in the clinics because they rely heavily on pre-amplification or post-separation steps. Motivated by the appeal of a sensitive, yet easy-to-assay, diagnostic approach, we have been working on a new biomarker, the activity of pathogen expressed DNA-modifying enzymes, for the diagnostics of infectious diseases.

Problem to be solved:

By using non-invasive saliva as a sample, we develop a malaria point-of-care diagnostic kit to reduce duration of diagnostic process and enhance efficiency.


Diagnostics of malaria and other infectious disease

Target Users:

Healthcare providers and clinical sectors

: Power of the Confined Reaction. Exactly the same samples (from uninfected individuals and infected patients) have been tested using bulk and droplet reactions, respectively. Results showed statistical difference when the assay is conducted in the droplets.
Schematic of malaria diagnostics via plasmodium topoisomerase

Uniqueness and Competitive Advantages:

  • High species specificity
  • Ultrasensitive detection (0.06parasites/mL)
  • Diagnostics based on saliva
  • Diagnosis based on direct pathogen detection
  • Pathogen specific enzymatic activity as a novel biomarker for malaria diagnostics
  • Effective extraction and well-preserved enzymatic activity by confined reaction in picoliters droplets
  • Catalytic reaction of enzymes offers an intrinsic amplification and significantly improved detection sensitivity

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