Improved diagnostic tools for neglected tropical diseases
The challenge for the management of tropical diseases is often not the treatment, but the diagnosis. Patients report to hospitals with nonspecific symptoms, which can have various origins. Although the symptoms are similar, treatment differs between pathogens. Conventionally used diagnostic tools like serology and/or microscopy may deliver reliable results but are often only possible in later stages of the infection. Time-consuming cultures of the pathogen and sophisticated equipment may be required to deliver a clear identification. Using a proteomics approach, we aim to identify novel diagnostic markers for neglected tropical diseases like melioidosis, scrub typhus and rabies. Such biomarkers could be used to develop non-invasive, field-based rapid tests, allowing for early and reliable identification of pathogens in patients.