Author(s): Lima GF, Levi JE, Geraldi MP, Sanchez MC, Segurado AA,
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Abstract Malaria diagnoses has traditionally been made using thick blood smears, but more sensitive and faster techniques are required to process large numbers of samples in clinical and epidemiological studies and in blood donor screening. Here, we evaluated molecular and serological tools to build a screening platform for pooled samples aimed at reducing both the time and the cost of these diagnoses. Positive and negative samples were analysed in individual and pooled experiments using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), nested PCR and an immunochromatographic test. For the individual tests, 46/49 samples were positive by real-time PCR, 46/49 were positive by nested PCR and 32/46 were positive by immunochromatographic test. For the assays performed using pooled samples, 13/15 samples were positive by real-time PCR and nested PCR and 11/15 were positive by immunochromatographic test. These molecular methods demonstrated sensitivity and specificity for both the individual and pooled samples. Due to the advantages of the real-time PCR, such as the fast processing and the closed system, this method should be indicated as the first choice for use in large-scale diagnosis and the nested PCR should be used for species differentiation. However, additional field isolates should be tested to confirm the results achieved using cultured parasites and the serological test should only be adopted as a complementary method for malaria diagnosis.
This article was published in Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz
and referenced in Malaria Control & Elimination