May 27th, 2019

A Day in the Life of a Malaria Diagnosis “Lab” — with Apologies to Twitter’s “Thoughts of Dog”

Scene: A quiet morning, somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. A few roosters crow in the distance. A black Labrador Retriever slowly rouses herself from sleep.

ah. nice long nighttime snoozle. my favorite thing. ending soon.

but many favorite things. partial list. i’m good with lists.

1. belly rub.
c. peanut butter.
4: stuffed toy lamb, with squeak. though missing ear now. because we played too much.
7. tennis ball left out in park. for weeks. better after warm rain. and other doggos chew.
g. last but should be first. you.

list could be longer. but hear sound of human. half open eyes. no one here yet.

back to snoozetown? not quite.

hear human sound again, coming down steps. now he’s on ground. with me. eye to eye.

nice pet behind ears. hmmm. but one ear left inside out. that’s ok. i forgive easy.

Who’s a good girl?

silly question. of course. i am. but he asks this a lot. so i tell him. i’m awesome.

stretch legs. long yawn.

Time for work! Are you ready?

not work to me. my new favorite game. there are treats. simple rules. another list.

1. take socks from small humans.
(they smell delicious. especially socks of teenage boy humans. after playing football in African heat. yum.)
d. sniff socks of small humans.
7. some smell different. sad.

Work has shown that people infected with malaria parasites produce a body odour that is detected by mosquitoes, which results in malaria mosquitoes preferentially feeding on asymptomatic, malaria-infected individuals.

g. tell human which sock is sad. sometimes i just stay. sometimes bork.
5. best part. crunchy treat.

i could do this all day. especially if it helps small human. and if there are treats.


(Inspired by a recently published paper, a brilliant Twitter feed (“only” 2.6 million followers), and h/t Rich Davis for the clever pun in the title.) 

One Response to “A Day in the Life of a Malaria Diagnosis “Lab” — with Apologies to Twitter’s “Thoughts of Dog””

  1. Linda says:


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.