Use of a rapid, single-round, multiplex PCR to detect malarial parasites and identify the species present

Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2003 Mar;97(2):131-7. doi: 10.1179/000349803125002977.


A new, rapid assay, based on a single-round, multiplex PCR, can be used to detect Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae or P. ovale in human blood. The PCR, which targets the conserved 18S small-subunit RNA genes of the parasites, not only permits a malarial infection to be detected but also allows each Plasmodium species present to be identified, even in cases of mixed infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Protozoan / analysis
  • Humans
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Parasitemia / diagnosis*
  • Parasitemia / parasitology
  • Plasmodium / isolation & purification*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / isolation & purification
  • Plasmodium malariae / isolation & purification
  • Plasmodium ovale / isolation & purification
  • Plasmodium vivax / isolation & purification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Protozoan