Background Malaria continues to affect over 200 million individuals every year, especially children in Africa. Rapid and sensitive detection and identification of Plasmodium parasites is crucial for treating patients and monitoring of control efforts. Compared to traditional diagnostic methods such as microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests RDTs, DNA based methods, such as polymerase chain reaction PCR offer significantly higher sensitivity, definitive discrimination of Plasmodium species, and detection of mixed infections. While PCR is not currently optimized for routine diagnostics, its role in epidemiological studies is increasing as the world moves closer toward regional and eventually global malaria elimination. This study demonstrates the field use of a novel, ambient temperature-stabilized, multiplexed PCR assay in a small hospital setting in Sierra Leone. Methods Blood samples from 534 febrile individuals reporting to a hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone, were tested using three methods a commercial RDT, microscopy, and a Multiplex Malaria Sample Ready MMSR PCR designed to detect a universal malaria marker and species-specific markers for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. A separate PCR assay was used to identify species of Plasmodium in samples in which MMSR detected malaria, but was unable to identify the species. Results MMSR detected the presence of any malaria marker in 50.2 of all tested samples with P. falciparum identified in 48.7 of the samples. Plasmodium vivax was not detected
Journal Article - Open Access
Malaria Journal , 19, 84, 01 Jan 0001, 01 Jan 0001, This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.