Comparison of the novel Partec rapid malaria test to the conventional Giemsa stain and the gold standard real-time PCR

J Clin Microbiol. 2010 Aug;48(8):2925-8. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02403-09. Epub 2010 Jun 16.


Malaria remains the single most frequent cause of death in Africa, killing one child every 30 s, but treatment decisions are often made only on clinical diagnosis, as laboratory techniques to confirm the clinical suspicion are labor intensive and costly. In this study, we evaluated the recently developed Partec rapid malaria test (PM) for the detection of Plasmodium spp. in human blood from patients in an area where malaria is endemic and compared the results with those of thick blood film Giemsa stain (GS) in terms of its performance and operational characteristics, using real-time (RT) PCR as the gold standard. The sensitivities of the PM and the GS were 62.2% (95% CI, 56.3 to 67.8) and 61.8% (95% CI, 55.9 to 67.4), respectively, while the specificities were 96.0% (95% CI, 92.3 to 98.3) and 98% (95% CI, 95.0 to 99.5), respectively. There was an excellent agreement between the results for the PM and those of the GS (k [level of agreement] = 0.96; P < 0.001). The results for the PM were obtained more quickly and at less cost than those for the GS. The performance characteristics of the PM were almost equal to those of the GS, but the operational characteristics were better, and the PM can therefore be considered as an alternative method for GS.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Azure Stains
  • Blood / parasitology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Microscopy
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Plasmodium / cytology
  • Plasmodium / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Staining and Labeling / methods


  • Azure Stains
  • DNA, Protozoan
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic