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J Med Microbiol. 2013 Oct;62(Pt 10):1491-505. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.052506-0.

Malaria rapid diagnostic tests: challenges and prospects.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Science, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01 Scottsville 3209, South Africa.

Abstract

In the last decade, there has been an upsurge of interest in developing malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits for the detection of Plasmodium species. Three antigens - Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2), plasmodial aldolase and plasmodial lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) - are currently used for RDTs. Tests targeting HRP2 contribute to more than 90% of the malaria RDTs in current use. However, the specificities, sensitivities, numbers of false positives, numbers of false negatives and temperature tolerances of these tests vary considerably, illustrating the difficulties and challenges facing current RDTs. This paper describes recent developments in malaria RDTs, reviewing RDTs detecting PfHRP2, pLDH and plasmodial aldolase. The difficulties associated with RDTs, such as genetic variability in the Pfhrp2 gene and the persistence of antigens in the bloodstream following the elimination of parasites, are discussed. The prospect of overcoming the problems associated with current RDTs with a new generation of alternative malaria antigen targets is also described.

PMID:
24048274
DOI:
10.1099/jmm.0.052506-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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