Volume 103, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The ultrasensitive Alere Malaria Ag histidine-rich protein 2 rapid diagnostic test (Alere uRDT, Suwon City, South Korea) is a new diagnostic tool which is more expensive than other malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) routinely used in Ugandan clinics. The manufacturer recommends testing samples within 2 days and scoring results after 20 minutes, which may be impractical in high-volume resource-poor clinics. We compared testing by the Alere Ag rapid diagnostic test (uRDT), CareStart RDT, microscopy, and an ultrasensitive I8S rRNA quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) using survey and clinical samples. For the Alere uRDT, we used survey blood samples stored at 4°C for 44 days and for some clinical samples deliberately scored results beyond 20 minutes. The Alere uRDT and qRT-PCR identified asymptomatic parasitemia cases in 56% and 72%, respectively, of survey samples originally scored as negative by the CareStart RDT. Using qRT-PCR as a gold standard, the Alere uRDT was superior to the CareStart RDT in estimating asymptomatic parasite prevalence in a cross-sectional survey ( = 0.007) and in detection of clinically significant malaria; both RDTs were comparable in detecting asymptomatic parasitemia in the clinic ( = 0.599). Scoring Alere uRDT results at 20 minutes produced valid results confirmed by the CareStart RDT, but there was a consistent background; scoring the Alere uRDT beyond 20 minutes produced false-positive results. The Alere uRDT outperformed the CareStart RDT (ACCESSBIO, Somerset, NJ) in a field survey in estimating malaria prevalence and in the clinic for symptomatic malarial illness. It produced reliable results using samples stored at 4°C for 44 days, but test results read beyond 20 minutes were invalid.


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Supplemental table

  • Received : 04 Sep 2019
  • Accepted : 15 Mar 2020
  • Published online : 29 Jun 2020
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