Saima Naz Mohsin, Saba Khaliq, Mohammad Yaseen Bazai, Abreen Muddassir, Mehak Fatima, Amir Razi
Pakistan Journal of Medical & Health Sciences

Peer Reviewed

Previous Published Issues

Accuracy of Blood Spots Nested PCR Method for the Detection of Malaria in Clinical Suspects of Lahore, Pakistan

Saima Naz Mohsin, Saba Khaliq, Mohammad Yaseen Bazai, Abreen Muddassir, Mehak Fatima, Amir Razi




Background: In 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 microscopic method.

Aim: To compare the sensitivity and specificity of microscopic method and blood spot nested PCR method for the detection of malaria in clinically suspected cases.

Study design: Cross-sectional validation study

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.

Results:Nested 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.

Conclusion:Our 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.

Keywords: Malaria; Nested PCR; Plasmodium; Pakistan; Malaria Surveillance Program

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