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Acta Med Okayama. 2002 Oct;56(5):219-22.

Feasibility and limitations of acridine orange fluorescence technique using a Malaria Diagnosis Microscope in Myanmar.

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Parasitology Research Division, Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), No. 5, Ziwaka Road, Yangon 11191, Myanmar.


We studied parasite detectability in thick films by an acridine orange fluorescence technique (AO) to test its applicability and the use of a Malaria Diagnosis Microscope (MDM)-ESL in the detection of parasites, compared to the conventional Giemsa staining method. This study was conducted on 1,390 clinically suspected malaria cases of Thaton township, Myanmar. We found sensitivities of 82.8% for Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) and 100% for Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax) and specificities of 97.1% for P. falciparum and 98.6% for P. vivax. AO had a higher sensitivity than Giemsa-stained films at low levels of parasitemia (< 1,000/microl). AO showed lower sensitivity and higher specificity than the Giemsa method at parasite levels of more than 1,000/microl. The results of using the AO method, achieved by both novice and experienced observers, showed no significant difference and required less practice to perform the test as well as to identify the parasite. The acridine orange fluorescence technique using a malaria diagnosis microscope MDM-ESL series is simple, rapid and cost effective. The microscope is conveniently operable using standard AC power or a 12-V DC car battery, and it is easily convertible to a conventional biological microscope. With the exception of species differentiation, which is not possible with this method, this method would be appropriate for both clinical and epidemiological studies.

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