Comparative Evaluation of the Diagnostic Performance Characteristics of a One-Step Urine Malaria Test (UMT) against Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) in Febrile Patients from Fako Division, Cameroon



Background : Presently, all malaria diagnostic methods like: microscopy and Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) are invasive as they depend on blood samples for malaria diagnosis. Hence this study was aimed at comparing the diagnostic performance characteristics of the novel Urine Malaria Test (UMT) to the currently used Blood RDT, and to find out the efficacy of this UMT in detecting low parasitaemia in the study population.                  

Methodology : A cross sectional study involving 200 febrile participants, with no signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and kidney diseases, no history of hematuria, >15/µl leucocytes and urobilinogens of > 1 mg/dl in their urine, were recruited from the month of April to August 2017 in the Limbe and Buea Regional Hospitals. The main samples requested for analyses were urine and blood.                     

Results : Using the blood smear microscopy as standard, out of the 200 participants, 93 (46.5%) were positive for P . malaria. UMT had a sensitivity and specificity of 82.41% and 83.48 while that of RDT was 84.09% and 83.03 respectively falciparum (CI: 72.80 to 92.05%, Kappa 0.665, p =0.001). The UMT had a lowest limit of detection of 140 parasites/μl which was similar to RDT. The PPV and NPV of UMT and RDT were (81.74% and 85.98%) and (80.04% and 87.28%), respectively. There was a close agreement between the RDT and UMT when compared to microscopy (83.5% and 83.0% respectively).            

Conclusion : The UMT kit that was evaluated in comparison to the blood based RDT, showed a lot of similarities using the blood smear microscopy as gold standard. Hence, it can be recommended for the prompt and accurate diagnosis of malaria in febrile patients.

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