Evaluation of Diagnostic Performance of Immunochromatographic Rapid Card Test for Malarial Antigen against Peripheral Smear Microscopy: A Cross-sectional Study

Background: Malaria is a major public health problem in India, and it has emerged as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Rapid detection of malarial parasites can ensure timely and efficient management of clinical cases and disease control. In India, the most commonly used method for diagnosing malaria is peripheral smear microscopy.

The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic performance of the Immunochromatographic Rapid Card Test (ICT) for malarial antigen to that of peripheral smear microscopy for diagnosing malaria. Materials and Procedures: From January to August 2016, a cross-sectional study was conducted in the Department of Microbiology of a rural tertiary care teaching hospital in Western Uttar Pradesh. Eighty-seven patients with clinical suspicion of malaria whose samples were sent to the Microbiology laboratory on the advice of clinicians for peripheral smear microscopy and the Rapid card test for malarial antigen were included in this study after approval from the Institutional Ethics committee.

Results: Of the 837 blood samples tested, 106 (12.66%) were positive for malaria by peripheral smear microscopy and 109 (13%) by ICT Rapid card tests. ICT sensitivity for nonfalciparum malaria was found to be 82.65% lower than that for falciparum malaria (87.5 percent ). The specificity of ICT for non-falciparum malaria (98.9%) was nearly identical to that for falciparum malaria (99.3 percent ). The accuracy of ICT for falciparum malaria was slightly higher (99.16 percent) than for nonfalciparum malaria (97 percent ).

Conclusion: This study suggests that ICT Rapid card test can not replace PS microscopy completely, but can be used as a complementary tool to microscopy, particularly in resource constrained remote rural areas of India.

Author (s) Details

Associate Professor Dr. Abhishek Mehta
Department of Microbiology, Govt. Medical College, Datia (MP), India

Dr. Vijay Prakash Singh
Department of Microbiology, K.D. Medical College, Mathura (UP), India.

Dr. Amod Borle
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, India.

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