The Diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum Infection Using a New Antigen Detection System

Reynaldo Dietze Department of Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Espirito, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Santo Vitoria, Brazil

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Mark Perkins Department of Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Espirito, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Santo Vitoria, Brazil

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Marcos Boulos Department of Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Espirito, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Santo Vitoria, Brazil

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Francisco Luz Department of Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Espirito, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Santo Vitoria, Brazil

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Barth Reller Department of Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Espirito, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Santo Vitoria, Brazil

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G. Ralph Corey Department of Infectious Diseases, Universidade Federal do Espirito, Division of Infectious Diseases, Duke University Medical Center, Santo Vitoria, Brazil

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With the widespread emergence of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum infection, febrile patients in the tropics can no longer be empirically treated with inexpensive yet effective antimalarials. The substitution of newer and more costly drugs brings with it the need for rapid, accurate, and inexpensive diagnostic procedures so that directed therapy can be used. We report a field trial comparing standard microscopic malaria diagnosis and quantitative buffy coat analysis to a new P. falciparum antigen detection system. The ParaSight™ F test (PFT) was found to be easy to learn, rapid to perform, and highly accurate. If confirmed, the use of the PFT in endemic areas may aid in the identification of patients requiring therapy for drug-resistant malaria.

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