Background: The diagnosis of acute malaria in non-endemic countries is still carried out largely by microscopic examination of thick and thin smears or rapid diagnostic tests. Low-density infections might be missed, however, but the more sensitive PCR is more expensive, complex and requires considerable more time.
Method: We examined the suitability of a new loop-mediated isothermal DNA-amplification kit (LAMP) for malaria diagnosis in febrile returning travellers in comparison to qPCR and microscopic examination in a prospective study in a non-endemic setting at the Swiss TPH.
Results: Among 205 complete datasets, 43 samples were positive for malaria by microscopy, with Plasmodium falciparum (35 cases) being the most frequent species. All these samples were positive by both LAMP and qPCR, too. An additional 4 samples negative by microscopy were positive by both LAMP and qPCR. Three of these samples were follow-up samples taken after start of treatment in patients originally identified as positive by microscopy.
Conclusions: The LAMP performed exactly as did the qPCR and is a very valuable diagnostic alternative with a potential of being used also in endemic settings.
Marti, H.; Stalder, C.; Gonzalez, I.J. Diagnostic accuracy of a LAMP kit for diagnosis of imported malaria in Switzerland. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease (2015) : [DOI: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2014.12.016]