This study determines the use of nested PCR as a diagnostic tool to supplement field microscopy in symptomatic individuals suspected of being positive for malaria, and it explores its role in active case detection to identify asymptomatic parasite carriers.
We designed a study to compare the technical and the operational-economical performances of light microscopy (LM), nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR), and histopathology (HP).
To improve capacity for malaria microscopy in Uganda, a 3-day refresher training program was conducted in four districts. Training impact was measured through a written examination and evaluation of the quality of blood-slide preparation and accuracy of field microscopy.
We estimated the prevalence of congenital malaria using nested PCR amplification of the small subunit 18S RNA gene to detect low-level parasitemia and identify Plasmodium species in 204 mother–neonate pairs. Cord-blood parasitemia was detected in four babies by PCR, giving a prevalence of 2.0%.
This study further validates LAMP as an alternative molecular diagnostic tool, which can be used in the diagnosis of early infections of malaria cases and together with nPCR can also be used as supplementary methods for clinical and epidemiological use.
Multiplex QPCR but not ICTs are an essential adjunct to microscopy in the reference laboratory detection of malaria species specifically due to the superior LOD.