Comparative study of malaria parasite diagnosis: Microscopy and rapid diagnostic-testing

  • A.M. Abbas
  • F Sarkinfada
  • N.T. Dabo
  • A.Y. Adamu
  • S.M. Adamu
  • Y.A. Koki
  • S Adamu
  • S.A. Abdullahi
Keywords: Malaria, microscopy, RDTs, sensitivity and specificity


The conventional microscopy is the gold standard in laboratory diagnosis of malaria but time-consuming and requires a lot of training and expertise. However, Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) could be considered in endemic regions especially in poor settings, where there is shortage of power supply and less qualified personnel. This is a comparative study between Microscopy and RDTs. The study was carried out in two health facilities in Kano metropolis; Sir, Muhammad Sunusi Specialist hospital (SMSSH) and Bayero University Health Clinic (BUHC). A retrospective analysis was carried out in which the capacities of facilities for malaria parasites (MP) microscopy and RDT were assessed for the previous year. Later a prospective analysis was carried out by implementing a modified Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) model over a period of 3 months. Giemsa stained Slides for Malaria Parasite Microscopy were sampled giving a total Slides of 432 and their corresponding blood specimens also sampled for the respective RDTs using SD Bioline Kits. The specificity of MP slide microscopy and RDTs in SMSSH and BUHC were 84% and 94% respectively while that of RDTs were 95% and 94% respectively. However, the sensitivity of MP microscopy in SMSSH and BUHC was found to be 95% and 94% and that of RDT was 72% and 78% respectively. Result showed that microscopic examination of malaria parasite is still the method of choice and also gold standard especially for confirmation of clinical diagnosis.

Keywords: Malaria; microscopy; RDTs; sensitivity and specificity


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eISSN: 1117-4145