Dr. Judd Walson, professor of global health at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine, recently received more than $620,000 in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop a molecular diagnostic platform for the detection of soil transmitted helminths, commonly known as parasitic worms. Investigators will use these methods to support a large trial in Benin, India and Malawi to evaluate the feasibility of interrupting the transmission of parasitic worms through expanded mass drug administration.
With this new grant, molecular detection methods will be automated and scaled to allow for the testing of over 200,000 samples being collected in the DeWorm3 project.
“Currently there are no widely available diagnostic tests that can be applied at this scale to detect very low levels of infection and determine if soil transmitted helminths have been eliminated,” Dr. Walson said. “This grant will fund the development of such a platform.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 30