Parasitological confirmation of malaria diagnosis
In view of the wide scale introduction of expensive antimalarial medicines, decreasing trends in malaria morbidity in many countries due to effective malaria control interventions and strong demand from countries to strengthen both malaria microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests, WHO convened a technical consultation in October 2009 to review the evidence base for the thresholds required by current malaria diagnostic tests and to make recommendations for the essential elements of their use.
The consultation reviewed the following technical aspects:
- implications of results of the 1st Round of the WHO product testing for malaria RDTs and of the WHO/FIND RDT lot testing-programme to provide advice to procurement agencies;
- clinical implications of different parasite densities in P. falciparum and P. vivax, and risks of missing low parasite densities with routine field microscopy and most RDTs on the market;
- key programme elements to strengthen laboratory diagnosis of malaria in countries undertaking malaria control, elimination and intensified surveillance; and
- malaria diagnostic needs for research and development.