The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-11-377) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Authors declare that they have no competing interests.
IAR was responsible for the design of the retrospective investigation, data extraction, entry, management and analysis, interpretation of results and writing the manuscript. VDA contributed to the development and design of the strategy, clinical supervision, interpretation of the results and writing the manuscript. GP’H contributed to the development and design of the strategy, and data extraction. BG contributed to the development and design of the strategy, clinical supervision, interpretation of the results and writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Rapid diagnostic tests for malaria (RDTs) allow accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment. Validation of their usefulness in travellers with fever was needed. The safety of a strategy to diagnose falciparum malaria based on RDT followed by immediate or delayed microscopy reading at first attendance was evaluated in one referral hospital in Switzerland.
A retrospective study was conducted in the outpatient clinic and emergency ward of University Hospital, covering a period of eight years (1999–2007). The study was conducted in the outpatient clinic and emergency ward of University Hospital. All adults suspected of malaria with a diagnostic test performed were included. RDT and microscopy as immediate tests were performed during working hours, and RDT as immediate test and delayed microscopy reading out of laboratory working hours. The main outcome measure was occurrence of specific complications in RDT negative and RDT positive adults.
2,139 patients were recruited. 1987 had both initial RDT and blood smear (BS) result negative. Among those, 2/1987 (0.1%) developed uncomplicated malaria with both RDT and BS positive on day 1 and day 6 respectively. Among the 152 patients initially malaria positive, 137 had both RDT and BS positive, four only BS positive and five only RDT positive (PCR confirmed) (six had only one test performed). None of the four initially RDT negative/BS positive and none of the five initially BS negative/RDT positive developed severe malaria while 6/137 of both RDT and BS positive did so. The use of RDT allowed a reduction of a median of 2.1 hours to get a first malaria test result.
A malaria diagnostic strategy based on RDTs and a delayed BS is safe in non-immune populations, and shortens the time to first malaria test result.
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- Safety of falciparum malaria diagnostic strategy based on rapid diagnostic tests in returning travellers and migrants: a retrospective study
Isabelle Anne Rossi
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