Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is a common enzyme deficiency that is prevalent in many malaria-endemic countries. G6PD-deficient individuals are susceptible to hemolysis when exposed to certain medications and food, including 8-aminoquinoline drugs (primaquine and newly introduced tafenoquine) used to fully treat Plasmodium vivax malaria patients by killing the malaria parasites that lie dormant in the liver. This is known as “radical cure.” As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends conducting a G6PD test prior to initiating radical cure treatment. A simple point-of-care (POC) test for G6PD deficiency enables wide-scale radical cure treatment of patients with P. vivax malaria and accelerates elimination of the disease.
Publication date: August 2021