Serological Screen and Treat Trial for Plasmodium vivax: A Proof-Of-Concept Trial in Western Indonesia (SSAT)

NHMRC Australia

Principal Investigator
Prof. Dr. Inge Sutanto

Batubara Regency, North Sumatra

Trial Registration 

February 2022 – September 2023

This study aims to determine the efficacy of a Serological Screening and Treatment (SSAT) intervention for the prevention of recurrent P. vivax malaria among schoolchildren in North Sumatra, Indonesia.


In endemic zones, the activation of hepatic hypnozoites is responsible for over 80% of all Plasmodium vivax blood-stage acute attacks. Currently, there is no diagnostic tool to detect this dormant stage. As relapse usually occurs within 4 weeks to 9 months, a validated panel of serological exposure markers (SEMs) that signal within this period may identify most individuals who are likely to harbour hypnozoites. The use of these new antigens in a serological screen and treatment strategy is therefore predicted to prevent recurrence and thus potentially reduce P. vivax transmission.

Outputs to date

One thousand two hundred ninety-eight schoolchildren aged 6-15 years have been screened as of August 2022. Microscopic examination was performed on 622 of these screened subjects, and 10 (2%) were found positive for malaria. Nine hundred thirty-four subjects were enrolled and actively followed every month to calculate the incidence rate over a 9-month period. Among these subjects, 76 (8%) were found seropositive during the enrolment.




Professor Inge Sutanto


BRIN Research Center for Molecular Biology (formerly Eijkman Institute)

Logo USU

Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Sumatra Utara


Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia


Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

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