The quantitative buffy coat capillary tubes versus thin and thick blood films in the diagnosis of malaria in Saudi Arabia

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 1998 Apr;28(1):17-22.


The Quantitative Buffy Coat (QBC) capillary tube was compared with both the thin and thick films in the diagnosis of malaria among three groups of hospitalized patients. Group (1) comprised subjects with no symptoms or signs, group (2) comprised patients with fever and rigors of unknown cause, and group (3) comprised treated malarial patients consulting the hospital for a follow up. The QBC test showed more sensitivity than the two conventional methods in the three groups as follows: in group (1) the QBC was positive in 14.2% compared to 9% only in either thin or thick blood films. In group (2) the positivity was 95.1% compared to 79.3% & 76.8% in the thin and thick blood films respectively. In group (3) the sensitivity was 22.9% compared to only 5.7% in both of the thin and thick blood films. The authors found that the QBC technique in addition to its high sensitivity is very practical, reliable, simple and easy to perform. No doubt, the thin blood film still the method of choice in species identification of malaria parasites.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Azure Stains
  • Humans
  • Malaria / blood*
  • Malaria / diagnosis*
  • Malaria / parasitology
  • Plasmodium / isolation & purification*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Azure Stains