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Title: COMPARATIVE EVALUATION OF TWO RAPID MALARIA DIAGNOSTIC TESTS KITS AMONG HEALTH-CARE SEEKING INDIVIDUALS IN ILORIN, NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA

Author: Abiodun Obembe, Opeyemi G. Oso* and Shola K. Babatunde

Abstract:

Background: Malaria microscopy remains the gold standard for the diagnosis of malaria. However, lack of laboratory consumables, standard microscopes and expertise in malaria microscopy, especially in the rural areas with high malaria transmission, limits its deployment. Rapid Diagnostic tests (RDT) which are alternatives to the gold standard must however be evaluated in comparison with the microscopy before massive deployment of such RDT product in the field. This study evaluated two RDT products (CareStartTM and Nova) using blood sample of symptomatic and asymptomatic health care seeking individual in a health care center in Ilorin. Capacities of the products were compared with the microscopy in the diagnosis of malaria.

Methods: A total of 122 blood samples were collected through venipuncture of post-cubical veins of the patients using a syringe. The blood samples collected from each patient were transferred to a clean pre-labeled bottle containing ethylenediaminetetra acetic acid (EDTA).  Two RDT products: CareStartTM Pf and Nova Pf/Pv were purchased for evaluation or comparison with microscopy.

Results: Overall, 122 health care seeking individuals were examined. The sensitivity and specificity for Plasmodium falciparum malaria were 47% and 82%, respectively for CareStartTM RDT while 52% and 83% were for Nova RDT respectively. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the sensitivity and specificity between the two RDTs. The positive and negative predictive values of the two test kits were not significantly different: CareStartTM (87% and 37%), Nova (90% and 36%). The Nova RDT however, performed better than the CarestartTM though with a close margin.

Conclusion: The two RDT products could be used as the first screening test for malaria diagnosis thereby improving on the current situation of treating patients for malaria without laboratory outcome to confirm clinical evaluation.

Keywords: Malaria, Microscopy, Rapid Diagnostic Test
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