Use and limitations of light microscopy for diagnosing malaria at the primary health care level

Bull World Health Organ. 1988;66(5):621-6.


Recent developments in diagnostic techniques for malaria, particularly DNA probes and sero-immunology, have raised questions as to how these techniques might be used to facilitate malaria diagnosis at the most peripheral levels of the primary health care system. At present, malaria diagnosis is based on the light microscope and is likely to remain so in the immediate future. This article describes how the diagnosis of malaria by light microscopy has been improved over the years, and expresses the need for further improvement while concomitant research into other standardized and simplified techniques for the diagnosis of malaria is vigorously pursued.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Microscopy* / instrumentation
  • Plasmodium falciparum / anatomy & histology
  • Staining and Labeling