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Malaria Parasites

The visualization of the thick and thin blood films of malaria-suspected patients under light microscopy examinations can reveal the different developmental stages of malarial parasites including the gametocyte and/or trophozoites stages of P falciparum, P ovule, P malaria and P. vivax. Various new researches in the field of parasitological, that are specifically concerned with malarial parasites, have proved that PCR is a more specific and sensitive method of testing in comparison to thick blood films because this highly accurate method can even confirm very low levels as well as undetectable levels by the light microscopic examination of malarial parasites.

Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) are accuracy-wise similar to light microscopic examination tests for the detection of P.falciprum. Due to the persistence of circulating antigens in the blood of malaria-infected patients, there is a possibility of this test confirming false-positive results for 2 weeks or more after the treatment is underway. This method may be able to detect the P.falciprum species that is below the reliable microscopic identification threshold limit. Malaria is one of the most devastating diseases all around the world and in the United States alone approximately 800 malaria cases are detected every year with most of these cases associated with returning or visiting individuals to the United States

As the symptoms of malaria are quite similar with those of flu, it becomes difficult to correctly diagnose malaria, while it is just as necessary to begin its treatment in its early stages. The number of malaria parasite carriers requires to also be reduced so that the healthy population areas are not put at the risk of getting infected with Malaria.There are different malaria diagnostic tests that can be carried out for the detection of malarial parasites but due to the cost factor and easiness with which the Giemsa-stained thick and thin blood smears tests are normally carried out require the services of highly skilled, experienced and qualified personnel.

Due to the high sensitivity and accurate results of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, doctors have also begun to recommend PCR tests in different laboratories for the early detection of the malarial parasites.Besides the traditional method of administering quinine orally or peritoneal for the treatment of malaria, many other anti-malarial drugs and medicines are also being used presently for treatment. While Chloroquine still remains the drug of choice for treating malaria infection, for infections that are caused by the Chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum.

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