Skip to main content

01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Malaria Journal 1/2012

Modelling the dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 in human malaria to better understand malaria rapid diagnostic test performance

Malaria Journal > Ausgabe 1/2012
Louise Marquart, Alice Butterworth, James S McCarthy, Michelle L Gatton
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1475-2875-11-74) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

LM developed the model, conducted the analysis and drafted the manuscript. AB performed the laboratory testing of RDTs and ELISA assays. JMC participated in the design of the study. MLG participated in the design of the study, reviewed the model output and helped draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Effective diagnosis of malaria is a major component of case management. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) based on Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (Pf HRP2) are popular for diagnosis of this most virulent malaria infection. However, concerns have been raised about the longevity of the Pf HRP2 antigenaemia following curative treatment in endemic regions.


A model of Pf HRP2 production and decay was developed to mimic the kinetics of Pf HRP2 antigenaemia during infections. Data from two human infection studies was used to fit the model, and to investigate Pf HRP2 kinetics. Four malaria RDTs were assessed in the laboratory to determine the minimum detectable concentration of Pf HRP2.


Fitting of the Pf HRP2 dynamics model indicated that in malaria naïve hosts, P. falciparum parasites of the 3D7 strain produce 1.4 × 10-13 g of Pf HRP2 per parasite per replication cycle. The four RDTs had minimum detection thresholds between 6.9 and 27.8 ng/mL. Combining these detection thresholds with the kinetics of Pf HRP2, it is predicted that as few as 8 parasites/μL may be required to maintain a positive RDT in a chronic infection.


The results of the model indicate that good quality Pf HRP2-based RDTs should be able to detect parasites on the first day of symptoms, and that the persistence of the antigen will cause the tests to remain positive for at least seven days after treatment. The duration of a positive test result following curative treatment is dependent on the duration and density of parasitaemia prior to treatment and the presence and affinity of anti-Pf HRP2 antibodies.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
Authors’ original file for figure 3
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2012

Malaria Journal 1/2012 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet Innere Medizin

Meistgelesene Bücher aus der Inneren Medizin

2017 | Buch

Rheumatologie aus der Praxis

Entzündliche Gelenkerkrankungen – mit Fallbeispielen

Dieses Fachbuch macht mit den wichtigsten chronisch entzündlichen Gelenk- und Wirbelsäulenerkrankungen vertraut. Anhand von über 40 instruktiven Fallbeispielen werden anschaulich diagnostisches Vorgehen, therapeutisches Ansprechen und der Verlauf …

Rudolf Puchner

2016 | Buch

Ambulant erworbene Pneumonie

Was, wann, warum – Dieses Buch bietet differenzierte Diagnostik und Therapie der ambulant erworbenen Pneumonie zur sofortigen sicheren Anwendung. Entsprechend der neuesten Studien und Leitlinien aller wichtigen Fachgesellschaften.

Santiago Ewig

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Innere Medizin und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.

© Springer Medizin