D. P. Danave1, S. N. Kothadia2, Shaikh N. K3

ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Millions of cases of malaria are reported worldwide annually and India belongs to the endemic zone of malaria. The purpose of our study was to diagnose malaria among suspected cases by gold standard microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and compare the results obtained by the two. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Blood samples were collected from 422 patients during three consecutive years. They were subjected to microscopy using Fields stain and rapid diagnostic tests based on the principle of immuno-chromatography for detecting Plasmodium falciparum specific histidine rich protein II and pan malarial species specific enzyme aldolase. RESULTS: Out of the 422 samples only 19 samples (4.50%) tested positive for malaria. Of these all the samples were positive by microscopy but only 17 samples were positive by RDTs. Four positive samples were suggestive of co-infection. CONCLUSION: RDTs are not able to replace microscopy as the gold standard for malaria diagnosis but are a good replacement in resource poor settings reaching those unable to access good quality microscopy.