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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 64-69

Evaluation of diagnostic accuracy of rapid diagnostic test for malaria diagnosis among febrile children in Calabar, Nigeria


1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
2 Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Anthony Achizie Iwuafor
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_165_18

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Background: The WHO recommends that all cases of suspected malaria should undergo parasitological test. Currently, the parasitological test comprises the rapid diagnostic test (RDT) or the microscopy. The performance of RDT in relation to microscopy is yet to be fully comprehended. Objectives: This study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of RDT as against the diagnosis provided by microscopy in detecting malaria parasites among febrile under-5 children. Design: The study was a cross-sectional hospital-based design. Materials and Methods: Capillary blood samples were collected from 167 children who came to the hospital with a history of fever over a period of 6 months. The Paracheck-Pf RDT kit was used and its performance was compared with the gold standard, microscopy using thick film. Results: The prevalence of malaria infection was 41.9%. On comparing RDT with microscopy (microscopy assumed to be 100% sensitive and specific), RDT had a sensitivity of 51.4% and a specificity of 73.2%. The false-positive rate was 26.8% whereas the false-negative rate was 48.6%. The positive predictive value was 58.1% whereas the negative predictive value (NPV) was 67.6%. The RDT also had a positive likelihood ratio (LR) of 1.92 and a negative LR of 0.67. The RDT test accuracy was 64.1%. Conclusion: Malaria prevalence among febrile children was found to be high. The findings also suggest that inconsistencies in the performance of RDT kits may arise from many extraneous factors, and as such, they should not be used as a stand-alone test kit except a prior batch/lot validation test was carried on them.


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