Comparative evaluation of four techniques for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum infections.
ABSTRACT Four diagnostic techniques for Plasmodium falciparum infection were evaluated against serial parasite dilutions and on identical field samples. These were (i) Giemsa-stained thick blood films (GTF), (ii) acridine orange-stained thick (AOTF) and thin (AOTnF) blood films, (iii) the quantitative buffy coat technique (QBC); and (iv) the ParaSight-F dipstick test (PS). PS had a consistently higher sensitivity and speed, was easiest to learn, and required no laboratory facility. The 100% sensitivity cut-off points against known parasite densities (per mm3) were: PS, 30; GTF, 84; QBC, 84; AOTnF, 84; AOTF, 149. In the field study, test sensitivities compared with examination of 800 microscope fields of a Giemsa-stained thin blood film were PS, 96.6%; AOTF, 93.1%; GTF, 91.4%; QBC, 89.7%; AOTnF, 82.8%. In the dilution study, one false positive result was recorded with QBC; in the field study there was one false positive each with PS, AOTnF and AOTF. When a newly trained microscopist examined samples of the parasite dilutions, the 100% sensitivity cut-off points were AOTF, 84; GTF, 140; QBC, 390. Total handling time was shortest with PS regardless of whether samples were processed individually or in batches of 10 or 100. The ParaSight-F test is recommended as the diagnostic tool for the future.
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ABSTRACT: In settings where both Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infection cause malaria, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) need to distinguish which species is causing the patients' symptoms, as different treatments are required. Older RDTs incorporated two test lines to distinguish malaria due to P. falciparum, from malaria due to any other Plasmodium species (non-falciparum). These RDTs can be classified according to which antibodies they use: Type 2 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and aldolase (all species); Type 3 RDTs use HRP-2 (for P. falciparum) and pLDH (all species); Type 4 use pLDH (fromP. falciparum) and pLDH (all species).More recently, RDTs have been developed to distinguish P. vivax parasitaemia by utilizing a pLDH antibody specific to P. vivax. To assess the diagnostic accuracy of RDTs for detecting non-falciparum or P. vivax parasitaemia in people living in malaria-endemic areas who present to ambulatory healthcare facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria, and to identify which types and brands of commercial test best detect non-falciparum and P. vivax malaria. We undertook a comprehensive search of the following databases up to 31 December 2013: Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE; EMBASE; MEDION; Science Citation Index; Web of Knowledge; African Index Medicus; LILACS; and IndMED. Studies comparing RDTs with a reference standard (microscopy or polymerase chain reaction) in blood samples from a random or consecutive series of patients attending ambulatory health facilities with symptoms suggestive of malaria in non-falciparum endemic areas. For each study, two review authors independently extracted a standard set of data using a tailored data extraction form. We grouped comparisons by type of RDT (defined by the combinations of antibodies used), and combined in meta-analysis where appropriate. Average sensitivities and specificities are presented alongside 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). We included 47 studies enrolling 22,862 participants. Patient characteristics, sampling methods and reference standard methods were poorly reported in most studies. RDTs detecting 'non-falciparum' parasitaemiaEleven studies evaluated Type 2 tests compared with microscopy, 25 evaluated Type 3 tests, and 11 evaluated Type 4 tests. In meta-analyses, average sensitivities and specificities were 78% (95% CI 73% to 82%) and 99% (95% CI 97% to 99%) for Type 2 tests, 78% (95% CI 69% to 84%) and 99% (95% CI 98% to 99%) for Type 3 tests, and 89% (95% CI 79% to 95%) and 98% (95% CI 97% to 99%) for Type 4 tests, respectively. Type 4 tests were more sensitive than both Type 2 (P = 0.01) and Type 3 tests (P = 0.03).Five studies compared Type 3 tests with PCR; in meta-analysis, the average sensitivity and specificity were 81% (95% CI 72% to 88%) and 99% (95% CI 97% to 99%) respectively. RDTs detecting P.vivax parasitaemiaEight studies compared pLDH tests to microscopy; the average sensitivity and specificity were 95% (95% CI 86% to 99%) and 99% (95% CI 99% to 100%), respectively. RDTs designed to detect P. vivax specifically, whether alone or as part of a mixed infection, appear to be more accurate than older tests designed to distinguish P. falciparum malaria from non-falciparum malaria. Compared to microscopy, these tests fail to detect around 5% ofP. vivax cases. This Cochrane Review, in combination with other published information about in vitro test performance and stability in the field, can assist policy-makers to choose between the available RDTs.Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 12/2014; 12:CD011431. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent developments in diagnostic techniques for malaria, particularly DNA probes and sero-immunology, have raised questions as to how these techniques might be used to facilitate malaria diagnosis at the most peripheral levels of the primary health care system. At present, malaria diagnosis is based on the standard microscopic examination of blood films in most field epidemiologic studies and is likely to remain so in the immediate future in Africa. The objective of this study was to assess inter-observer agreement for the examination of Giemsa-stained slides for Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Children aged 0 to 10 years were enrolled yearly in Bancoumana village (West Africa), mainly during the transmission season (June to October). The blood smears obtained from the persistently negative children in June 1996, August 1996, October 1996 and March 1997 were systematically re-examined. A stratified random sample (10%) proportional to the following parasite density classes 1--100, 101--5000, and 5001 and over was taken from the slides collected. The kappa statistics and the intra-class correlation were used as measures of agreement the first and the second slide examinations. The weighted kappa statistic, widely used as a chance-corrected measure for nominal agreement, showed excellent inter-observer agreement (kappaw=0.7926; 95% CI [0.7588, 0.8263]; p=0.01). The intra-class correlation co-efficient had the same value of 0.7926 confirming the appropriateness of the weighted kappa statistic. Inter-observer agreement for slides read as negative by one observer, or as containing more than 100 parasites per mul, was excellent: 97% (493/506) and 92% (145/158), respectively. In contrast, the inter-observer agreement for slides read by one observer as containing 1--100 parasites/mul was poor, 36% (96/268). In field conditions in Mali, there was a high reproducibility for slides reported as negative or as having more than 100 parasites per mul. However, smears with readings of 1--100 parasites per mul were less reproducible and should be re-examined carefully.Malaria Journal 09/2013; 12(1):335. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite malaria control programs in recent years, malaria transmission has not been eliminated in Iran. Molecular techniques including PCR, which has proved more sensitive and specific than microscopic examination methods, help to detect infection in low levels of parasitemia and mixed infections. Main our objectives were setting up nested PCR for detection of malaria and evaluating PCR based on plasmodia DNA from blood smears in Fars province, the comparison of this method with traditional microscopy and also evaluate the data in comparison with its neighboring province, Hormozgan. A total of 149 malaria positive samples including 116, 19, and 14 samples from Shiraz, Jask, and Lengeh ports were utilized in this study, respectively. Blood slides were prepared for microscopic observation. DNA from thin smears was extracted and nested PCR was analyzed using rPLU5 and rPLU6 for genus specification, rFAL1, rFAL2, and rVIV1, rVIV2 for P. falciparum and P. vivax detection, respectively. The results showed that 126 (84.6%), 16 (10.7%), and 7 (4.7%) out of 149 cases were positive for P. vivax, P. falciparum, and mixed infections, respectively, by microscopy. The PCR indicated that 95 (63.7%), 15 (10.1%), and 22 (14.8%) cases were infected with P. vivax, P. falciparum, and mixed mentioned species, respectively, and 17 (11.4%) cases were uninfected. Our results confirmed the considerable sensitivity of nested PCR for detection of the mixed infections. Simultaneous application of PCR even based on microscopy slides can facilitate access to the highest level of confidence in malaria researches.Journal of Tropical Medicine 01/2014; 2014:935469.