Evaluation of different methods for diagnosis of P. falciparum malaria

Mendiratta, D. K.; Bhutada, K.; Narang, R.; Narang, P.
January 2006
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Jan2006, Vol. 24 Issue 1, p49
Academic Journal
journal article
Rapid diagnosis is a prerequisite for institution of effective treatment and reducing the mortality and morbidity of falciparum malaria. This study was taken up to compare the efficacy of various rapid methods viz, acridine orange, Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein II antigen detection and Field's stain with traditional microscopy i.e, Leishman stain for diagnosing falciparum malaria. Thick and thin blood films of 443 consecutive patients with history of fever with chills and rigors were examined by Leishman and Field's method. Acridine orange stained wet mounts of blood were examined under fluorescence microscopy. All films were examined by two independent microbiologists. Plasmodium falciparum histidine rich protein II antigen was detected using commercially available kit, Paracheck Pf. Out of the 443 subjects examined for P.falciparum 18.28% were detected by Leishman stain, 6.32% by Field's stain, 18.28% by acridine orange and 18.1% by antigen based technique. Field's stain missed 53 (65.4%), while Paracheck Pf was negative in 6(7.4%) of the Leishman positive samples. All Field's stain and acridine orange positives were positive by Leishman, but five Paracheck Pf positives were negative. Leishman stain is cost effective but if facilities are available one should use acridine orange for screening. The antigen detection kits are rapid, simple and are useful but to rule out false negatives in clinically suspected cases, Leishman stain is reliable.


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