Volume 70, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


infection during pregnancy may cause placental malaria and subsequently low birth weight, primarily through the placental sequestration of infected red blood cells. Measuring the burden of malaria during pregnancy usually involves determining the prevalence of placental malaria infection through microscopic examination of placental blood films, a difficult and error-prone process. A number of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria have been developed, most of them immunochromatographic dipstick assays. However, none have been tested for the direct determination of malaria antigen in placental blood. We undertook an evaluation of the Malaria Rapid Test (MAKROmed in determining placental malaria infection. The prevalence of placental parasitemia was 22.6% by microscopy, 51.0% by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and 43.1% by RDT. When the PCR was used as the gold standard, RDTs had a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 76%. The MAKROmed RDT was highly sensitive in the detection of placental malaria, but had lower than expected specificity.


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  • Received : 15 Dec 2003
  • Accepted : 04 Feb 2004

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