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Diagnosing point-of-care diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases
Inadequate and nonintegrated diagnostics are the Achilles’ heel of global efforts to monitor, control, and eradicate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). While treatment is often available, NTDs are endemic among marginalized populations, due to the unavailability or inadequacy of diagnostic tests that cause empirical misdiagnoses. The need of the hour is early diagnosis at the point-of-care (PoC) of NTD patients. Here, we review the status quo of PoC diagnostic tests and practices for all of the 24 NTDs identified in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2021–2030 roadmap, based on their different diagnostic requirements. We discuss the capabilities and shortcomings of current diagnostic tests, identify diagnostic needs, and formulate prerequisites of relevant PoC tests. Next to technical requirements, we stress the importance of availability and awareness programs for establishing PoC tests that fit endemic resource-limited settings. Better understanding of NTD diagnostics will pave the path for setting realistic goals for healthcare in areas with minimal resources, thereby alleviating the global healthcare burden.
Year of Publication
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Number of Pages