Efficiency of Nested-PCR in Detecting Asymptomatic Cases toward Malaria Elimination Program in an Endemic Area of Iran.
AbstractBackground: The aim of this study was to detect low parasite and asymptomatic malaria infections by means of three malaria diagnostic tests, in a low transmission region of Minab district, Hormozgan Province, southern Iran. Methods:Blood samples of 200 healthy volunteers from Bagh-e-Malek area were evaluated using microscopic, rapid diagnostic tests (RDT) and nested-PCR to in-spect malaria parasite.Results:The results showed no Plasmodium parasite in subjects by means of mi-croscopy and RDT. However, 3 P. vivax positive samples (1.5%) were discovered by Nested-PCR while microscopy and RDT missed the cases.Conclusion:Microscopy as the gold standard method and RDT correctly identi-fied 98.5% of cases, and molecular analysis is sensitive and reliable, especially in the detection of "asymptomatic" infections for active case surveillance. Regarding the existence of asymptomatic malaria in endemic area of Hormozgan, Iran, nest-ed-PCR could be considered as a sensitive tool to interrupt malaria transmission in the country, beside the microscopic and RDT methods.
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