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Detection and species determination of malaria parasites by microscopy, antigen detection, polymerase chain reaction, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification assay in a tertiary care hospital

Pradipta Kishore Sahoo, Dibya Prasana Mohanty, Preet Priyadarshini, Gitanjali Sarangi, Dharma Niranjan Mishra.


Background: Malaria is a major health issue in tropical and subtropical areas. Out of all subtypes, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) is the most dangerous form accounting for high mortality and morbidity. It is transmitted by infected female anopheles mosquitoes and infected blood transfusions.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study is to establish correct diagnosis by direct microscopy, Immunochromatographic test (ICT), and molecular studies.

Materials and Methods: This prospective study was conducted in the PG Department of Microbiology, SCB Medical College, Cuttack. Thick blood smears were drawn and then stained with Leishman’s stain to visualize falciparum rings. DNA was extracted from infected blood samples by phenol chloroform method with some modification as described by Sambrook and Russel for molecular analysis.

Results: In the present study, 150 cases of malaria were analyzed. The male: female ratio was 1.7:1 and age ranged from 0 to 56 years. The Plasmodium vivax positivity was compared with thin smear to 21 (84%) in ICT, 100% both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and loop mediated isothermal amplification assay (LAMP) assays followed by the Pf positivity as 76 (92.7%) in ICT, 82 (100%) both PCR and LAMP assays, respectively. The results obtained were statistically significant with P < 0.001. The PCR and LAMP showed 100% response to specificity and positive predictive value.

Conclusion: The present study established the role of molecular tests such as PCR and LAMP are highly specific for diagnosis of Plasmodium species whereas they are more or less similar in sensitivity as compared to other diagnostic methods such as ICT and microscopy.

Key words: Plasmodium falciparum; Immunochromatographic Test; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification Assay

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