Fizikai Tudományok Doktori Iskola
BME Fizikai Intézet
1111, Budapest, Budafoki út 8.
In the course of malaria infection the parasites invade the red blod cells and digest the hemoglobin inside. As a side product of the metabolism, paramagnetic iron-containing micro-crystals are formed, which can be detected as low as ppm concentrations, facilitating an early-stage diagnosis of malaria. Our former studies demonstrated that the magneto-optical method can determine the concentration of the micro-crystals in blood, thereby quantifying the parasitemia (the percentage of infected red blod cells). Since the life cycle of the parasites is complex, containing several developmental stages, for a proper diagnosis it is important to determine the stage of the parasites besides the parasitemia level. Throughout their developmental stages the parasites produce crystals with increasing size. Our preliminary results imply that the magneto-optical method can not only detect the concentration of the crystals but it is also sensitive to their size. This size-specificity of the method, if proved, could have great advantages in diagnosis as well as in antimalarial drug tests. In the later case, the method could specify in which developmental stage of the parasites the drug is efficient.
Good experimental and modelling skills.