Comparison of the ParaSight-F test and the ICT Malaria Pf test with the polymerase chain reaction for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in travellers

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. Mar-Apr 1998;92(2):166-9. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(98)90730-1.

Abstract

Rapid and accurate methods are needed for the diagnosis of imported malaria. The ParaSight-F test and the ICT Malaria Pf test are commercially available kits marketed for the diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Both tests are antigen-capture assays based on the detection of P. falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 in peripheral blood. Using microscopy and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method as reference standards, we performed a 'blinded' comparison of these assays for the detection of P. falciparum infection in 200 febrile travellers returning from malaria-endemic areas. As determined by PCR and microscopy, 148 travellers had malaria and, of these patients, 54.7% (81/148) were infected with P. vivax only, 31.1% (46/148) with P. falciparum only, 9.5% (14/148) with P. ovale, 0.7% (1/148) with P. malariae, and 4.1% (6/148) had mixed infections. Compared to PCR, the ParaSight-F and ICT Malaria Pf tests had initial sensitivities of 94% and 90% and specificities of 95% and 97%, respectively, for the detection of P. falciparum malaria. When discrepant samples were retested with day 0 and day 1 bloods, the sensitivities improved to 96% and 94%, respectively. The 2 remaining false negative results with the Para-Sight-F test and 2 of the 3 false negative results with the ICT Malaria Pf test occurred in samples with < 100 parasites/microL. The performance of these kits was not significantly different (P = 0.75) and both are simple, rapid, and accurate tests for the detection of P. falciparum infection in the returned traveller.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasitology / methods*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / isolation & purification
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Reagent Strips
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Travel

Substances

  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Reagent Strips