Comparison of capillary and venous blood using blood film microscopy in the detection of malaria parasites: A hospital based study
Keywords:Plasmodium, microscopy, bloodfilms, capillary, venous, prevalence
AbstractMalaria mainlydue to Plasmodium falciparum isassociated with great morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa especiallyin children under 5 years. In order to eradicate the disease and avoidcomplications that may arise from severe infection, there is need to improve inmanagement which includes evaluation of the current diagnostic methods.Diagnosis of malaria in resource limited and developing countries is commonly doneby the detection of blood stages of the Plasmodia in Giemsa stained blood filmsby light microscopy. Blood films are commonly prepared using capillary orvenous blood. This study was aimed at comparing the sensitivity of capillaryand venous blood in the detection of malaria parasites. Two blood films wereprepared from the capillary and venous blood, air-dried, stained and examinedfollowing standard protocol by expert microscopists who were blinded from theresults of the others. 150 participants including 95 (63.3%) women and 55(36.7%) men were recruited for the study. The mean age of the participants was30years (ranging from 7 to 66years). 44 (29.3%) of the 150 blood films preparedfrom capillary blood were found to be positive meanwhile 26 (17.3%) of the 150 venousblood films were found to be positive. The difference in the rate of malariaparasite detection in capillary blood smear was significantly higher than thatwith the venous blood (P=0.0109). No significant difference (P=0.8999) wasobserved between the capillary blood parasitaemia (3935parasites/mm³) andvenous blood parasitaemia (3407parasites/mm³). No significant correlation wasobserved between the capillary and venous blood parasitaemia (r = 0.3497, P =0.1842). We came to the conclusion that usage of capillary blood to diagnosemalaria was more sensitive than venous blood and these findings may impactroutine clinical practice; hence improve on the management of malaria inendemic areas. We recommend that studies that employ light microscopy to detectmalaria parasites including the annual figures posted by the WHO, should statewhether it was capillary or venous blood that was used to obtain data as it isevident from this study that the prevalence of malaria is dependent on thesource of peripheral blood.
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Copyright (c) 2013 A. L. Njunda, N.J. C. Assob, S. D. Nsagha, F.H. L. Kamga, M. D. Mokenyu, T. E. Kwenti
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