Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 25889784
Malar. J. 2015 Mar;14:114
BACKGROUND: Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are generally considered as point-of-care tests. However, most of the studies assessing the performance of malaria RDTs are conducted by research teams that are not representative of the classical end-users, who are typically unskilled in traditional laboratory techniques for diagnosing malaria. To evaluate the performance of a malaria RDT by end-users in a malaria-endemic area, a study protocol was designed and the VIKIA Malaria Ag Pf/Pan test, previously evaluated in 2013, was re-evaluated by representative end-users.
METHODS: Twenty end-users with four different profiles in seven communes in Kampot Province (Cambodia) were selected. A set of 20 calibrated aliquots, including negative samples, low positive samples (200 parasites/μL of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax) and high positive samples (2,000 parasites/μL of P. falciparum and P. vivax) was used. Testing was performed directly by the end-users without any practical training on the VIKIA Malaria Ag Pf/Pan kit.
RESULTS: All results obtained by the end-users were consistent with the expected results, except for the low positive (200 parasites/μL) P. vivax aliquot (35% of concordant results). No significant difference was observed between the different end-users. End-user interviews evaluating ease-of-use and ease-of-reading of the VIKIA Malaria Ag Pf/Pan kit recorded 159 positive answers and only one negative answer. Out of 20 end-users, only one considered the test was not easy to perform with the support of the quick guide.
CONCLUSIONS: The data presented in this study clearly demonstrate that the performance of the VIKIA Malaria Ag Pf/Pan test when performed by traditional end-users in field conditions is similar to that obtained by a research team and that this RDT can be considered as a point-of-care tool/assay. Furthermore, the protocol designed for this study could be used systematically in parallel to conventional evaluation studies to determine the performance of malaria RDTs in field conditions.