Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for Plasmodium falciparum commonly detect histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP-2), but HRP-2 deletions are increasingly recognized. We evaluated a prototype test detecting parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) and compared it to commercially available RDTs at a health facility in Uganda, using quantitative polymerase chain reaction as a gold standard. The prototype pLDH test had a high sensitivity for infections with at least 100 parasites/µL (98%), comparable to HRP-2, and greater than an existing pLDH RDT (89%). Specificity for the prototype test was 99.5%, which is greater than the HRP-2 tests (93–95%). Therefore, the prototype pLDH test may be an attractive alternative malaria diagnostic.
Financial support: This work was supported by the Global Good Fund I, LLC.
Disclosure: Ethics approval for the study was obtained from the Makerere University School of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee, Uganda (2019-108), the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Uganda (HS-2658), and the University of California, San Francisco Human Research Protection Program institutional review board (19-27974). B. G. is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator.