Although there were almost 200 million cases of malaria in 2013, resulting in over half a million deaths, this lethal infection is in retreat.1 Better control through prevention with insecticide-treated nets and more effective drugs (including artemisinin, for the discovery of which the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded) mean that the ambition of elimination is again on the agenda. Sensitive diagnosis of malaria is becoming increasingly important, particularly for low-level and asymptomatic cases. Currently, most diagnoses of malaria use microscopy, which is not sufficiently sensitive to enable elimination and is dependent on highly trained operators with good equipment.
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