Contribution of real-time PCR to Plasmodium species identification and to clinical decisions: a nationwide study in a non-endemic setting

T. Grossman, E. Schwartz, J. Vainer, V. Agmon, Y. Glazer, D. Goldmann, E. Marva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Treatment choice for patients with malaria in Israeli hospitals is based on microscopy and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Here, we demonstrate the cumulative value of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in optimizing the treatment of malaria. Between January 2009 and December 2015, 451 samples from 357 patients were tested in our laboratory using a real-time PCR assay. Hospital laboratory results (without real-time PCR) were compared to those obtained in our laboratory. A total of 307 patients had a malaria-positive laboratory finding in the hospital. Out of those, 288 were confirmed positive and 19 negative using real-time PCR. Two negative hospital results were found to be positive by real-time PCR. More specifically, of 153 cases positive for Plasmodium falciparum by real-time PCR, only 138 (90%) had been correctly identified at the hospitals. Similarly, 66 (67%) of 99 cases positive for P. vivax, 2 (11%) of 18 cases positive for P. ovale, and 3 (30%) of 10 cases positive for P. malariae had been correctly identified. Of 10 cases of mixed infection, only one had been identified as such at the hospital. Thus, real-time PCR was required for correct identification in 81 (28%) out of 290 positive cases. In 52 (18%) of those, there was an erroneous categorization of relapsing versus non-relapsing parasites. In a nationwide study, we found that the use of real-time PCR is definitely beneficial and may change the decision regarding the choice of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-675
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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