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Grantees Profile

Niaina Rakotosamimanana

Country (Nationality)


Grantee Title

Project summary: A low-cost tuberculosis diagnostic test for pregnant women

Grantee Description

Niaina Rakotosamimanana is the Head of the Mycobacteria Unit at the Pasteur Institute of Madagascar. He has a PhD in microbiology obtained in Paris, France and in Madagascar in 2010. Niaina is in charge of the tuberculosis (TB) research programme, which includes applied and operational projects to evaluate new TB diagnostic tools, molecular epidemiology of the disease, new vaccines trials and drug resistance surveys in collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Program of the Malagasy Ministry of Public Health.

His main research activities are about the host immune responses against tuberculosis and the factors associated to the TB clinical strains diversities. He is also mentoring Bsc, MSc, and PhD international candidates and is a lecturer at the Faculty of Sciences and the School of Medicine of the University of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Project summary: A low-cost tuberculosis diagnostic test for pregnant women
Rakotosamimanana is developing a low-cost tuberculosis diagnostic and molecular test for pregnant women using dried blood samples drawn from finger pricks. This dried-blood spot based test is minimally invasive, can be used in remote areas where people lack access to all-weather roads and lack of infrastructure that has direct impact on health outcomes. The DBS can be sent via mail to the health centres for testing without established cold chain and meets several of the criteria set by the World Health Organization regarding quality of TB diagnostic tools. Dried-blood samples have a wide range of diagnostic capacity and have been shown to have advantages over other biological samples in terms of cost, ease of collection, transport, and storage.