Volume 78, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Detection of parasites in patients with malaria necessitates drawing blood, which increases the risk of accidental infections and is poorly accepted in communities with blood taboos. Thus, non-invasive, cost-effective malaria tests that minimize the need for blood collection are needed. histidine-rich protein II (HRP II) levels in plasma and saliva were compared in malaria–positive and –negative patients in Ghana. Plasma and saliva obtained from 30 thick-film positive and 10 negative children were evaluated for HRP II by ELISA. Among the 30 children with positive blood smear, 16 (53%) were HRP II positive in plasma and 13 (43%) had HRP II positive saliva. The sensitivity of HRP II detection was 53% for plasma and 43% for saliva. The specificity was 100% with no false positive for both plasma and saliva when compared with blood smear. Thus, rapid detection of HRP II antigen in saliva may be a useful non-invasive and cost-effective malaria diagnostic technique.


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  • Received : 19 Dec 2007
  • Accepted : 15 Feb 2008

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