Article

Laboratory diagnosis of malaria: conventional and rapid diagnostic methods.

From the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services, Denver Health, Denver, Colorado; and the Department of Pathology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado.
Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine (Impact Factor: 2.78). 06/2013; 137(6):805-11. DOI: 10.5858/arpa.2011-0602-RA
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Context.-The global control of malaria is more challenging than that of many other infectious diseases: malaria is vector borne, it is caused by 5 species of Plasmodium with different geographic distributions, infection is widespread in many regions, drug resistance is common, and the disease overlaps clinically with other infectious diseases. Therefore, malaria control programs, in addition to diagnosis and testing, must also target limiting spread of the disease through vector control. Although malaria control efforts have been successful in some regions, malaria remains one of the most important causes of death in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in women and children. Objective.-To review the current literature regarding diagnostic methods available to detect clinical malaria, with an emphasis on comparing the strengths and limitations of each method. Data Sources.-Current World Health Organization malaria control report and other information, recent meta-analyses of diagnostic tests, primary literature concerning the performance characteristics of different tests, and primary literature concerning how diagnostic tests are used in daily practice. Conclusions.-The most commonly used method for identifying cases of malaria remains microscopic examination of peripheral blood, but there is growing use of malaria rapid diagnostic tests in many regions. One of the most important findings in the recent literature is that despite the widespread use of diagnostic tests, treatment is too often based on clinical findings rather than on results of diagnostic tests.

1 Bookmark
 · 
90 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the last decade, there has been an upsurge of interest in developing malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for the detection of Plasmodium species. Three antigens - Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2), plasmodial aldolase and plasmodial lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) - are currently used for RDTs. Tests targeting HRP2 contribute to more than 90 % of the malaria RDTs in current use. However, the specificities, sensitivities, numbers of false positives, numbers of false negatives and temperature tolerances of these tests vary considerably, illustrating the difficulties and challenges facing current RDTs. This paper describes recent developments in malaria RDTs, reviewing RDTs detecting PfHRP2, pLDH and plasmodial aldolase. The difficulties associated with RDTs, such as genetic variability in the Pfhrp2 gene and the persistence of antigens in the bloodstream following the elimination of parasites, are discussed. The prospect of overcoming the problems associated with current RDTs with a new generation of alternative malaria antigen targets is also described.
    Journal of Medical Microbiology 10/2013; 62(Pt 10):1491-505. · 2.30 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Plasmodium vivax is the second most common species among cases of imported malaria diagnosed in Europe. The objective of this study is to describe the sensitivity of the parasitological tests in imported P. vivax malaria, and the impact of chemoprophylaxis and attack type (primary infection or relapse).MethodsA retrospective study included the imported vivax malaria cases admitted in a French military hospital between 2001 and 2013. The reference diagnosis method was microscopy corrected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thin and thick blood films examination, quantitative buffy coat (QBC) test, and a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) had been systematically performed. PCR had been carried out for ambiguous profiles.ResultsEighty-nine cases recorded from 78 patients were included, 65 of them having recently traveled to French Guyana. Forty-two patients had properly followed chemoprophylaxis. Forty-six cases were primary infections while 43 were relapses. The sensitivity was 91% for the thin blood smear, 96% for the concentration techniques (Giemsa thick blood smear and QBC test), and 76% for the RDT. The combination of the three conventional tools has an imperfect sensitivity, both for the positive diagnosis of malaria (96%) and for the diagnosis of vivax species (80%). In 4% of the cases, the positive diagnosis was established only by the PCR. The species identification was established in 20% by the PCR. The sensibility of thin blood smear and of RDT decreased significantly with full compliance of chemoprophylaxis or primary infection, whereas the decrease of sensibility of concentration techniques was not significant.Conclusions This study illustrates the difficulties encountered in vivax malaria diagnosis, especially in patients who properly followed chemoprophylaxis or with primary infection due to a lower parasitemia. It underlines the lack of sensitivity of RDT for P. vivax and emphasizes the need for systematically combining various diagnosis methods.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 03/2014; · 1.68 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Malaria remains one of the leading communicable diseases in Ethiopia. Early diagnosis combined with prompt treatment is one of the main strategies for malaria prevention and control. Despite its limitation, Giemsa microscopy is still considered to be the gold standard for malaria diagnosis. This study aimed to compare the performance of Giemsa microscopy with nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) for the diagnosis of malaria in north-west Ethiopia.
    Malaria Journal 05/2014; 13(1):174. · 3.40 Impact Factor