Volume 81, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Microscopic detection of gametocytes, the sexual life stage of this malaria parasite, is insensitive because parasitaemia is low. To detect and quantify gametocytes a more sensitive, quantitative real-time Pvs25-QT-NASBA based on Pvs25 mRNA was developed and tested in two clinical sample sets from three different continents. Pvs25-QT-NASBA is highly reproducible with low inter-assay variation and reaches sensitivity approximately 800 times higher than conventional microscopic gametocyte detection. Specificity was tested in 104 samples from , , , and infected patients. All non- samples were negative in the Pvs25-QT-NASBA; out of 74 PvS18-QT-NASBA positive samples 69% were positive in the Pvs25-QT-NASBA. In a second set of 136 microscopically confirmed samples, gametocyte prevalence was 8%, whereas in contrast 66% were positive by Pvs25-QT-NASBA. The data suggest that the human gametocyte reservoir is much larger when assessed by Pvs25-QT-NASBA than by microscopy.


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  • Received : 13 Jan 2009
  • Accepted : 05 May 2009

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