May 3, 2019
By Ramin Mazhari
I received a travel grant from the Australian Centre of Research Excellence in Malaria Elimination (ACREME) in March 2019.
I visited the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology in Jakarta Indonesia from the 24th to the 29th of March 2019. The purpose of my trip was to visit our collaborator Dr. Rintis Noviyanti and to assist in our collaborative studies on serological markers for detecting recent exposure to Plasmodium vivax infections.
The aim of the visit was to establish and perform training on serology assays. These assays, developed in Professor Ivo Mueller’s laboratory at WEHI, detect antibodies against a panel of P. vivax malaria parasite proteins and can inform on an individual’s past exposure to P. vivax. We wanted to detect antibodies against these proteins in samples collected by Dr. Noviyanti’s group as part of a field study in search for markers for detection of individuals with relapsing parasites (hypnozoites).
I met with her staff and discussed the serology assays and the way to use the Luminex xMAP instrument (Magpix) for the measurement of the specific antibodies in the plasma samples of the study participants.
The Magpix is a compact multiplexing unit, that performs up to 50 different tests in a single reaction volume in a 96-well plate.
The proteins of interest were each coupled to magnetic beads here at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and shipped to Jakarta. These beads were used in our assay to detect Plasmodium vivax antibodies against the coupled antigens.
During my stay, we managed to perform the assays for all 294 samples and make preliminary analysis of the data.
All the staff at the Eijkman Institute involved in these studies familiarized themselves with the provided protocols and methods and were trained in using the Magpix and to perform these type of assays.
In summary, I believe this was a very productive and efficient trip to the Eijkman Institute in Jakarta and I even got half a day for sightseeing, where I visited with two lab members the National Museum of Jakarta and the National Monument.