Malaria diagnostics by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) relies primarily on the qualitative detection of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) and Plasmodium spp lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH). As novel RDTs with increased sensitivity are being developed and implemented as point of care diagnostics, highly sensitive laboratory-based assays are needed for evaluating RDT performance. Here, a quantitative suspension array technology (qSAT) was developed, validated and applied for the simultaneous detection of PfHRP2 and pLDH in a variety of biological samples (whole blood, plasma and dried blood spots) from individuals living in different endemic countries.
The Plasmodium falciparum parasite is the only human malaria that produces the histidine-rich protein 2 and 3 (HRP2/3) antigens. Currently, HRP2/3 are widely used in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), but several global reports have recently emerged showing genetic deletion of one or both of these antigens in parasites. Deletion of these antigens could pose a major concern for P. falciparum diagnosis in Haiti which currently uses RDTs based solely on the detection of the HRP2/3 antigens.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests based on histidine-rich protein-2 have played a vital role in improving malaria case management and surveillance particularly in Africa, where Plasmodium falciparum is predominant. However, their usefulness has been threatened by the emergence of gene deletion on P. falciparum histidine rich protein 2 (pfhrp2) and P. falciparum histidine rich protein 3 (pfhrp3).