developing countries, like Pakistan,malaria surveillance and control program
poses substantial challenges for health care providers due to low quality
diagnosis and limited resources. There is a desperate need to highlight the
actual cases of malaria in the green zones (malaria eliminated zone) of
Pakistan by using a more sensitive technique for malaria detection than
Aim: To compare the sensitivity and specificity of microscopic method and
blood spot nested PCR method for the detection of malaria in clinically
Study design: Cross-sectional
Place and duration of study:
National Health Research Complex, Shaikh Zayed
Medical Complex and University of Health Sciences Lahore from 1st
March 2019 to 30th November 2019.
Methods: A total
of 150 blood samples and blood spots were collected from suspected malaria
cases during the peak malaria season from Lahore, Pakistan, and categorized
into clinical suspects and healthy individuals based on early symptoms. These
samples were subjected to microscopic detection of the malaria parasite
followed by nested PCR based on dried blood spots collected on filter paper.
The results were compared with a standard nested PCR from whole blood samples
to find out accuracy of thedried blood-spot method.
PCR method for malarial parasite detection from dried blood spot was found to
be more sensitive and specific than the microscopic method in detection of
malaria in suspected cases.
study has highlighted false negative cases of malaria from the areas of Lahore,
where malaria has been declared eliminated, which raises the need for the use
of sensitive techniques for detection of malaria in endemic zones to avoid the
unnecessary disease burden.
Nested PCR; Plasmodium; Pakistan; Malaria Surveillance Program