Diagnosis of Malaria

Friday, 30/09/2016

Malaria is a dangerous mosquito-borne infection caused by parasites transferred to humans through the bites of the female Anopheles mosquito. Once an infected mosquito bites a human and transfers the parasites, they can infect the liver of the human.
Malaria infection was first recorded in the year 1880. Since then it has been increasing. It is a globally concerning fever on more than 100 countries.
Malaria is one of the largest parasitic infections. In developing countries of Africa and Asia, it is a huge infection that been burdening people. Also, there have been cases spiraling in India over the past few years.

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Malaria infection causes signs that are very much similar to other mosquito-borne infections. The signs include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches. These signs usually begin with ten to fifteen days of being bit by the infected mosquito.
Four sorts of malaria parasites contaminate people: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Also, P. knowlesi, a kind of intestinal sickness that normally taints macaques in Southeast Asia, likewise contaminates people, bringing about malaria that is transmitted from vector to human (“zoonotic” intestinal sickness). P. falciparum is the sort of intestinal sickness that is destined to bring about extreme contaminations and if not immediately treated, may lead to death.
In spite of the fact that jungle fever can be a savage ailment, passing from intestinal sickness can more often than not be counteracted

Malaria Diagnosis

• Malaria must be recognised properly in order to eradicate it completely and so that the mosquitoes are unable to breed further or spread the infection. There should not be any delay since it can lead to liver damage.
• Diagnosis of Malaria infection can at times be difficult especially at places where Malaria is not endemic.
• There should be a Clinical Diagnosis which is based on the signs present in the person.
• The Clinical Diagnosis should always have a confirmation by a laboratory test for Malaria.
• Also there should be a Microscopic Diagnosis. The Malaria Parasites can be identified by examining the person’s blood under the microscope. This technique remains the golden standard for laboratory confirmation of Malaria.
• However, the laboratory confirmation depends on the quality of the reagents, the microscope, and the laboratorian.
• Although it is a good way to find the Malaria infection, but the proficiency is optimal.

TESTS FOR MALARIA

Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests assist in finding the Malaria infection by looking for the evidence of Malaria parasites in the person’s blood. In the recent years, these tests have significantly increased around the world. Around 314 RDT sales took place in 2014. Most of them are deployed in the African area.
Nucleic Acid Amplification enable sensitive finding of the low density Malaria infections. WHO recommends that this can be used for surveys submicroscopic infections.
Polymerase Chain Reaction is one of the key NAAT has developed to find Malaria.
• Similarly, Real Time Reverse Transcription and Quantitative Nucleic Acid Sequence- based amplification are also the keys developed by NAAT to find Malaria
• NAAT offers the correct finding in Malaria infection.
• Also, Liver Function Tests are done to find out the Malaria infection. It is also called Liver Enzyme Tests. It is a group of blood test which find the damage done to the liver because of the infection.
• A glucose test is done which measures the amount of sugar present. Glucose comes from the carbohydrates. It is also the main source of energy.
Serology finds the antibodies of the Malaria infection.
Drug Test is done in specialised laboratories to assess the susceptibility to antimalarial compounds of parasites collected from the person. It is of two types, Invitro tests and Molecular characterisation.
• Certain simple ways to do blood test is by the finger prick method.
• Also smearing blood on a slide can be done to do a blood test.