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MALARIA: Scientists recommend effective quality control procedures for rapid tests

Feb. 3, 2022
MALARIA: Scientists recommend effective quality control procedures for rapid tests
Article snip from the Malaria Journal website.

Malaria surveillance depending solely on Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) needs control procedures to assess reduced sensitivity, among other shortcomings – researchers from Ifakara Health Institute and partner institutions have recommended.

The researchers – Maxmillian Mpina & Elizabeth Nyakurungu (from Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania); Salome Hosch, Charlene Aya Yoboue, Etienne Guirou, Jean-Pierre Dangy, Koranan Blöchliger, Marcel Tanner, Claudia Daubenberger & Tobias Schindler (from the Swiss TPH and University of Basel, Switzerland), Olivier Tresor Donfack, Carlos Guerra, Wonder Phiri & Guillermo García, (from Medical Care Development International, Equatorial Guinea), and Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba (Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Equatorial Guinea) -  gave the recommendation in their study findings published in the Malaria Journal on January 24th 2022.

When concluding their report of study findings, bearing the title: “Analysis of nucleic acids extracted from rapid diagnostic tests reveals a significant proportion of false positive test results associated with recent malaria treatment,” the researchers were emphatic that “well-integrated quality control procedures” are needed to assess effective functioning of the tests.

“Malaria surveillance depending solely on RDTs needs well-integrated quality control procedures to assess the extent and impact of reduced sensitivity and specificity of RDTs on malaria control programmes,” they reported.

They noted that surveillance programmes often use RDTs to test malaria, which they said in addition to reports of false-negative and false-positive results, also “there is a lack of systematic quality control activities for RDTs deployed in malaria surveillance programmes.”

Their study was conducted in 2018 involving 2865 RDTs in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea where Ifakara Health Institute runs a research center in collaboration with other partner institutions.

Read their full research findings yourself: Analysis of nucleic acids extracted from rapid diagnostic tests reveals a significant proportion of false positive test results associated with recent malaria treatment