TABLE 3.

Comparison of methods for diagnosing Plasmodium infection in blood

ParameterMicroscopyPCRFluorescenceDipstick HRP-2Dipstick pLDH, ICT Pf/Pv
Sensitivity parasites/μl)50550>100>100
SpecificityAll speciesAll speciesP. falciparum good, others difficultP. falciparum onlyP. falciparum and P. vivax good, and P. ovale and P. malariae only with pLDH
Parasite density or parasitemiaYesNoNoCrude estimationCrude estimation
Time for result30–60 min24 h30–60 min20 min20 min
Skill levelHighHighModerateLowLow
EquipmentMicroscopePCR apparatusQBC apparatus or direct fluorescence microscopeKit onlyKit only
Cost/testLowHighModerate/lowModerateModerate