Volume 97, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Most malaria testing is by rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that detect histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2). Recently, several RDT manufacturers have developed highly sensitive RDTs (hsRDTs), promising a limit of detection (LOD) orders of magnitude lower than conventional RDTs. To model the added utility of hsRDTs, HRP2 concentration in Angolan outpatients was measured quantitatively using an ultrasensitive bead-based assay. The distribution of HRP2 concentration was bimodal in both afebrile and febrile patients. The conventional RDT was able to detect 81% of all HRP2-positive febrile patients and 52–77% of HRP2-positive afebrile patients. The added utility of hsRDTs was estimated to be greater in afebrile patients, where an hsRDT with a LOD of 200 pg/mL would detect an additional 50–60% of HRP2-positive persons compared with a conventional RDT with a LOD of 3,000 pg/mL. In febrile patients, the hsRDT would detect an additional 10–20% of cases. Conventional RDTs already capture the vast majority of symptomatic HRP2-positive individuals, and hsRDTs would have to reach a sufficiently low LOD approaching 200 pg/mL to provide added utility in identifying HRP2-positive, asymptomatic individuals.


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  • Received : 30 Mar 2017
  • Accepted : 07 May 2017
  • Published online : 12 Jun 2017
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