A Novel Malaria Lateral Flow Assay for Detecting Plasmodium falciparum Lactose Dehydrogenase in Busia, Uganda

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  • 1 Global Health Laboratories, Bellevue, Washington;
  • | 2 Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda;
  • | 3 Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, Bellevue, Washington;
  • | 4 University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California

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.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Christine M. Bachman, Global Health Laboratories, Bellevue, WA. E-mail: christine.bachman@ghlabs.org

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.

Authors’ addresses: Christine M. Bachman, David M. Cate, Ben Grant, Stephen Burkot, Kevin P. Nichols, and Bernhard H. Weigl, Global Health Laboratories, Bellevue, WA, E-mails: christine.bachman@ghlabs.org, davidmcate@gmail.com, ben.grant@ghlabs.org, stephen.burkot@ghlabs.org, kevin.paul.nichols@gmail.com, and bernhard.weigl@ghlabs.org. Jerry Mulondo, Martin Chamai, Bakar Odongo, Peter Olwoch, Mayimuna Nalubega, Harriet Ochokoru, Joseph Kasozi, and John Ategeka, Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration, Kampala, Uganda, E-mails: jmulondo@idrc-uganda.org, mchamai@yahoo.com, odongobkr@gmail.com, polwoch@idrc-uganda.org, nalmayi32@gmail.com, hadrama@idrc-uganda.org, jkasozi2014@gmail.com, and ategekajohnnie@yahoo.com. Helen V. Hsieh, Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, Bellevue, WA, E-mail: hvhsieh@gmail.com. Bryan Greenhouse, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, E-mail: bryan.greenhouse@ucsf.edu.