Comparison of Rapid Malaria Test and Laboratory Microscopy Investigation for Community-Based Active Surveillance of Asymptomatic Falciparum Malaria in Yenagoa, Niger Delta, Nigeria
Blood samples collected from 272 volunteers in two communities of Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta area were investigated for falciparum malaria parasite using the rapid test based on the detection of soluble antigen and laboratory microscopy test. The data showed that out of the 272 samples collected, 40(14.7%) falciparum malaria cases were identified by microscopic examination. 53(19.5%) were detected by rapid test. The Global (p.f) malaria test kit yielded 22 false negative and 35 false positive results when compared with microscopic findings. Only 18 cases shows true positive results. The specificity and sensitivity of the kit was 80% and 45% respectively when the parasite density is below 100 parasite/ µl. These results shows that rapid test would not give justifiable results as most of the low parasite density cases could escape detection, therefore, it cannot replace laboratory microscopic diagnosis in an active malaria surveillance programme in the study area. Therefore, regulatory agencies should insist on regular laboratory microscopic diagnosis in the surveillance of malaria.