International Journal of Malaria and Tropical Diseases

International Journal of Malaria and Tropical Diseases (IJMTD) ISSN 2953-2108, Vol. 5(1), pp. 094-096, January, 2024. © Advanced Scholars Journals

Short Communication

Devising a cost-effective method to improve the specificity and sensitivity of malaria detection

Paul  Hemsworth

St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria 3065, Australia.

*Corresponding author’s Email: [email protected]

Accepted 2nd January, 2024.


It has been a challenge to increase the concentration of malaria parasites in blood without compromising on specificity. The standard quantitative Buffy coat (QBC) method improves sensitivity at the cost of specificity. It cannot do species identification either. This study aims to improve the specificity of standard QBC method and to enable species identification. The dye was washed off used QBC capillary tubes. Whole blood samples of ten malaria-positive patients were drawn onto the washed QBC capillaries. The float was re-inserted and centrifugation carried out. The capillary tubes were broken at the area where parasite-infested cells were most likely to be seen. Smears were made and stained using the conventional Romanowsky method. Ordinary microscopy was carried out and parasitaemia quantified. Parasites’ number was found to be on average ten times higher per oil immersion field compared to the conventional thin smear methods. Species identification was easier than in thick smears. This pilot study modifying the QBC technique of malaria detection demonstrated a ten- fold increase in sensitivity compared to conventional thin smear preparations. This was not at the cost of specificity unlike standard QBC method.  Species identification was easier than in thick smears.

Keywords: Malaria detection, QBC method, thin smear technique, thick smear technique, Modified QBC method

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