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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases
Volume 2009, Article ID 415953, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/415953
Review Article

Rapid Diagnosis of Malaria

Infectious Disease Service, Brooke Army Medical Center, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA

Received 29 January 2009; Accepted 27 April 2009

Academic Editor: Herbert B. Tanowitz

Copyright © 2009 Clinton K. Murray and Jason W. Bennett. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Malaria's global impact is expansive and includes the extremes of the healthcare system ranging from international travelers returning to nonendemic regions with tertiary referral medical care to residents in hyperendemic regions without access to medical care. Implementation of prompt and accurate diagnosis is needed to curb the expanding global impact of malaria associated with ever-increasing antimalarial drug resistance. Traditionally, malaria is diagnosed using clinical criteria and/or light microscopy even though both strategies are clearly inadequate in many healthcare settings. Hand held immunochromatographic rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have been recognized as an ideal alternative method for diagnosing malaria. Numerous malaria RDTs have been developed and are widely available; however, an assortment of issues related to these products have become apparent. This review provides a summary of RDT including effectiveness and strategies to select the ideal RDT in varying healthcare settings.