Volume 48, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This study evaluated a nonisotopic DNA assay kit for diagnosing malaria in an area of Madagascar where all species of human malaria are present and where malaria is endemic. Blood samples from 440 healthy children and 20 healthy adults were processed and assayed in a single day in a blind protocol. The parasitemia levels of the four species were determined by microscopic examinations and by counts of numbers of malaria parasites per 1,000 white blood cells. Relative to infections, the DNA assay results agreed with those of microscopy for 207 positive and 239 negative samples; two samples were scored as positive by the DNA probe that were not detected by microscopy, and 12 samples were scored as positive by microscopy but were not detected by the assay. Relative to microscopy, the sensitivity of the assay was 95%, the specificity was 99%, and the effective sensitivity threshold of the DNA probe assay was approximately 30 parasites/mm of blood. The assay did not detect infections with either , or alone, but detected mixed infections of with either or . With this nonisotopic DNA probe assay, we were able to process large numbers of samples efficiently and to detect malaria infections with high sensitivity and specificity in a population that did not display overt disease symptoms.


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