An Expository on Malaria Diagnostic Techniques in the Tropics

  • CT Amalu
  • FC Okafor


The need for new perspectives for malaria diagnostic techniques in the tropics is on the increase due to rising prevalence rate of malaria mortality and morbidity. The microscopic examination of venous thin and thick blood films is the current “gold standard” for routine laboratory diagnosis of malaria. Other available methods include:- Fluorescence microscopy, which has improved the sensitivity, but not the specificity of diagnosis, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnosis, which is sensitive for all four species of human Plasmodium spp. and can be expected to exceed the sensitivity of microscopy; but poses time and technical problems, Immunochromatographic dipsticks that offer the possibility of more rapid, non-microscopic methods for malaria diagnosis, thereby saving on training, time and Self-diagnosis. Kits for self-diagnosis by travellers in remote areas has been developed.

Keywords: Microscopy, Immunochromatographic dipsticks, Plasmodium spp., Polymerase chain reaction, Diagnostic techniques, Gold standard, Mortality, Morbidity


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eISSN: 1597-3115