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Evaluation of CareStart™ malaria Pf/Pv combo test for Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria diagnosis in Butajira area, south-central Ethiopia

Adugna Woyessa1*, Wakgari Deressa2, Ahmed Ali2 and Bernt Lindtjørn3

Author Affiliations

1 Ethiopian Health & Nutrition Research Institute, P. O. Box 1242, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2 School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, P. O. Box 9086, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

3 Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

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Malaria Journal 2013, 12:218  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-12-218

Published: 27 June 2013

Abstract

Malaria is a major public health problem in Ethiopia. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax co-exist and malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDTs) is vital in rendering parasite-confirmed treatment especially in areas where microscopy from 2008 to 2010 is not available. CareStartTM Malaria Pf/Pv combo test was evaluated compared to microscopy in Butajira area, south-central Ethiopia. This RDT detects histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP2) found in P. falciparum, and Plasmodium enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) for diagnosis of P. vivax. The standard for the reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies was complied. Among 2,394 participants enrolled, 10.9% (n=87) were Plasmodium infected (household survey) and 24.5% (n=392) health facility-based using microscopy. In the household surveys, the highest positivity was caused by P. vivax (83.9%, n=73), P. falciparum (15.0%, n=13), and the rest due to mixed infections of both (1.1%, n=1). In health facility, P. vivax caused 78.6% (n=308), P. falciparum caused 20.4% (n=80), and the rest caused by mixed infections 1.0% (n=4). RDT missed 9.1% (n=8) in household and 4.3% (n=17) in health facility-based surveys among Plasmodium positive confirmed by microscopy while 3.3% (n=24) in household and 17.2% (n=208) in health facility-based surveys were detected false positive. RDT showed agreement with microscopy in detecting 79 positives in household surveys (n=796) and 375 positives in health centre survey (n=1,598).

RDT performance varied in both survey settings, lowest PPV (64.3%) for Plasmodium and P. falciparum (77.2%) in health centres; and Plasmodium (76.7%) and P. falciparum (87.5%) in household surveys. NPV was low in P. vivax in health centres (77.2%) and household (87.5%) surveys. Seasonally varying RDT precision of as low as 14.3% PPV (Dec. 2009), and 38.5% NPV (Nov. 2008) in health centre surveys; and 40-63.6% PPV was observed in household surveys. But the influence of age and parasite density on RDT performance was not ascertained. Establishing quality control of malaria RDT in the health system in areas with low endemic and where P. falciparum and P. vivax co-exist is recommendable. CareStartTM RDT might be employed for epidemiological studies that require interpreting the results cautiously. Future RDT field evaluation against microscopy should be PCR corrected.

Keywords:
CareStartTM RDT; Microscopy; Precision; Season; Highland; Butajira; Ethiopia