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Molecular Detection of Neglected Tropical Diseases: The Case for Automated Near–Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Leishmaniasis

Ineka GowSchool of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia;

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Nicholas SmithSchool of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia;

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Damien StarkDepartment of Microbiology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia

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John EllisSchool of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, Australia;

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ABSTRACT.

Neglected tropical diseases affect those in poorer nations disproportionately across the globe. One example of these, leishmaniasis, is a debilitating and potentially fatal parasitic infection. Molecular detection of this disease can provide accurate and fast diagnosis, and with near point-of-care technologies, detection can be provided in many health-care settings. Traditionally, the perceived limitations to such detection methods have hindered their provision to resource-limited nations, but new technologies and techniques are helping to overcome these perceptions. The current pandemic offers an opportunity to maintain and develop further advances, ensuring molecular diagnostics are accessible to all.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Ineka Gow, School of Life Sciences, Bldg. 4, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123 Broadway, NSW, 2007, Australia. E-mail: ineka.c.gow@student.uts.edu.au

Authors’ addresses: Ineka Gow, Nicholas Smith, and John Ellis, School of Life Sciences, Bldg. 4, University of Technology Sydney, PO Box 123 Broadway, NSW, 2007, Australia, E-mails: ineka.c.gow@student.uts.edu.au, nicholas.smith@uts.edu.au, and john.t.ellis@alumni.uts.edu.au. Damien Stark, Department of Microbiology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Xavier Bldg. Level 6, 390 Victoria St., Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia, damien.stark@svha.org.au.

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