What is it about?

Prompt and accurate malaria diagnosis is important to malaria control programs in endemic regions as it limits overdiagnosis as well as provide evidence of infection that requires prompt and adequate treatment. This paper seeks to present the varying malaria RDT test results, the possible interpretations, and explanation of these results common in endemic regions.

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Why is it important?

Rapid diagnostic tests have been of tremendous help in malaria control in endemic areas, helping in the diagnosis and treatment of malaria cases. It is heavily relied upon in many endemic areas where microscopy cannot be obtained. However, caution should be taken in the interpretation of its result in the clinical setting due to its limitations and inherent weakness.


The review results show that RDT positive results in febrile patients can either be true or false positive. True positive, representing either a possible single infection of Plasmodium or a co-infection of bacteria and P. falciparum. Hence, a scale-up of laboratory facilities especially expert microscopy and other diagnostic tools is imperative.

Dr Adekunle Sanyaolu

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Interpreting rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for Plasmodium falciparum, BMC Research Notes, December 2018, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/s13104-018-3967-4.
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