Estimating the Added Utility of Highly Sensitive Histidine-Rich Protein 2 Detection in Outpatient Clinics in Sub-Saharan Africa.
ABSTRACT: Most malaria testing is by rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) that detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2). Recently, several RDT manufacturers have developed highly sensitive RDTs (hsRDTs), promising a limit of detection (LOD) orders of magnitude lower than conventional RDTs. To model the added utility of hsRDTs, HRP2 concentration in Angolan outpatients was measured quantitatively using an ultrasensitive bead-based assay. The distribution of HRP2 concentration was bimodal in both afebrile and febrile patients. The conventional RDT was able to detect 81% of all HRP2-positive febrile patients and 52-77% of HRP2-positive afebrile patients. The added utility of hsRDTs was estimated to be greater in afebrile patients, where an hsRDT with a LOD of 200 pg/mL would detect an additional 50-60% of HRP2-positive persons compared with a conventional RDT with a LOD of 3,000 pg/mL. In febrile patients, the hsRDT would detect an additional 10-20% of cases. Conventional RDTs already capture the vast majority of symptomatic HRP2-positive individuals, and hsRDTs would have to reach a sufficiently low LOD approaching 200 pg/mL to provide added utility in identifying HRP2-positive, asymptomatic individuals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are increasingly becoming a paradigm for both clinical diagnosis of malaria infections and for estimating community parasite prevalence in household malaria indicator surveys in malaria-endemic countries. The antigens detected by RDTs are known to persist in the blood after treatment with anti-malarials, but reports on the duration of persistence (and the effect this has on RDT positivity) of these antigens post-treatment have been variable. METHODS:In this review, published studies on the persistence of positivity of RDTs post-treatment are collated, and a bespoke Bayesian survival model is fit to estimate the number of days RDTs remain positive after treatment. RESULTS:Half of RDTs that detect the antigen histidine-rich protein II (HRP2) are still positive 15 (5-32) days post-treatment, 13 days longer than RDTs that detect the antigen Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase, and that 5% of HRP2 RDTs are still positive 36 (21-61) days after treatment. The duration of persistent positivity for combination RDTs that detect both antigens falls between that for HRP2- or pLDH-only RDTs, with half of RDTs remaining positive at 7 (2-20) days post-treatment. This study shows that children display persistent RDT positivity for longer after treatment than adults, and that persistent positivity is more common when an individual is treated with artemisinin combination therapy than when treated with other anti-malarials. CONCLUSIONS:RDTs remain positive for a highly variable amount of time after treatment with anti-malarials, and the duration of positivity is highly dependent on the type of RDT used for diagnosis. Additionally, age and treatment both impact the duration of persistence of RDT positivity. The results presented here suggest that caution should be taken when using RDT-derived diagnostic outcomes from cross-sectional data where individuals have had a recent history of anti-malarial treatment.
Project description:The density of malaria parasites is a key determinant of whether an infected individual develops fever. While the pyrogenic threshold for malaria parasite density has been well studied, there are no analogous data on the antigen levels associated with fever during infection. Samples from 797 afebrile and 457 febrile outpatients from two provinces in Angola with known concentrations of histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2), aldolase, and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) antigens were analyzed by Bayesian latent class modeling to attribute malarial etiology to the fevers and to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of different antigen thresholds for detection of malaria fevers. Among patients with aldolase or LDH levels detectable with a bead-based assay, the concentrations of these two antigens did not differ between afebrile and febrile patients. In contrast, the concentrations of HRP2 were substantially higher in febrile HRP2-positive patients than in afebrile HRP2-positive patients. When HRP2 concentrations were considered, the malaria-attributable fractions of fever cases were 0.092 in Huambo Province and 0.39 in Uíge Province. Diagnostic tests detecting HRP2 with limits of detection (LODs) in the range of 3,000 to 10,000 pg/µl would provide ideal sensitivity and specificity for determination of malarial etiology among febrile persons.
Project description:Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are widely used to detect malaria parasites among patients who suspected malaria infections in malaria-endemic areas where microscopy is unavailable. Nevertheless, little is known about the performance of RDTs in detecting Plasmodium mixed infections. The present study aimed to evaluate the discordant results between RDTs and microscopy/polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in detecting Plasmodium mixed infections. The PubMed (MEDLINE), Web of Science, and Scopus databases were systematically reviewed to identify related studies that reported the performance of RDTs in detecting Plasmodium mixed infections. Studies were grouped according to the different RDT types including RDT type 2 (pf-HRP2/pan-aldolase), RDT type 3 (pf-HRP2/pan-pLDH), RDT type 4 (Pf-LDH/pan-pLDH), RDT type 5 (Pf/Pv-pLDH), and RDT type 6 (pf-HRP2/Pv-pLDH) for subgroup analysis. The estimates of the different proportions in each analysis group that were visually summarized in a forest plot showed the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Plots were drawn using RevMan (version 5.3; Cochrane Community). Twenty-eight studies were included in the present study. Overall, the meta-analysis showed that RDTs could detect a significantly higher proportion of Plasmodium mixed infections than microscopy (p?=?0.0007, OR?=?3.33, 95% CI 1.66-6.68). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that only RDTs targeting Pf-specific histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2)/pan-specific lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) could detect a significantly higher proportion of Plasmodium mixed infections than microscopy (p?=?0.004, OR?=?8.46, 95% CI 2.75-26.1). The subgroup analysis between RDTs and PCR methods demonstrated that RDTs targeting Pf-specific HRP2/Pv-specific LDH could detect a significantly lower proportion of Plasmodium mixed infections than PCR methods (p?=?0.0005, OR?=?0.42, 95% CI 0.26-0.68). This is the first study to summarize the discordant results between RDTs and microscopy/PCR in detecting Plasmodium mixed infections. Malaria RDTs targeting Pf-HRP2/pan-pLDH could detect a higher proportion of Plasmodium mixed infections than microscopy, while RDTs targeting Pf-HRP2/Pv-specific LDH could detect a lower proportion of Plasmodium mixed infections than PCR methods. The results of this study will support the selection and careful interpretations of RDTs for a better diagnosis of Plasmodium mixed-species infections and appropriate treatment of malaria patients in endemic and non-endemic settings.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are central to fulfilling the WHO's recommendation for parasitologic confirmation of all suspected cases of malaria. RDT performance may be compromised when exposed to the high temperature conditions typical of most malaria endemic regions. However, a systematic method to monitor RDT quality and performance in endemic countries is lacking at the present time. Current methods to monitor RDT performance in the field include comparing results from RDTs to diagnoses made by light microscopy and observing health workers perform tests. These methods are not substitutes for direct quality control. In this study, the suitability of dried Plasmodium falciparum-infected blood as quality control samples for malaria RDTs was evaluated. METHODS: Three cultured strains of P. falciparum at 200 and 2,000 parasites/?l were tested on 10 brands of RDT. After baseline testing to determine initial reactivity, aliquots of parasite-infected blood were air dried, stored at 35°C, room temperature (~25°C) or 4°C for one, four and 12 weeks and were then tested on the 10 RDTs after rehydration. Extended stability testing of dried blood stored at 4°C was done using P. falciparum strain 3D7 at 1,000 and 2,000 parasites/?l. RESULTS: All dried blood samples at 2,000 parasites/?l retained reactivity (100% sensitivity) at all three temperatures and time points for all nine RDT brands that detect histidine-rich protein-2 (HRP2). The dried blood samples with 200 parasites/?l were detected by six of the nine HRP2-based RDTs at all storage temperatures and time points. The sensitivity for two of the three remaining HRP2-based RDTs was 100% up to four weeks of storage at all temperatures but dropped to 87.5% at week 12. Of the four RDTs that detect plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) in a pan-specific manner, alone or in combination with HRP2, the detection of pLDH in samples with 2,000 parasites/?L was 100% for two RDTs and 80% for the other two RDTs. The mean level for detection of pLDH at 200 parasites/?l was low (29%), with a range of 0% to100%, which was partly attributable to weak initial baseline reactivity. Reactivity of dried 3D7 at 1,000 and 2,000 parasites/?l stored at 4°C was retained at 100% for up to 52 weeks for both HRP2 and pLDH. CONCLUSIONS: In the absence of native or recombinant positive control antigens, well-standardized P. falciparum-infected dried blood samples can be used as positive control samples for monitoring RDT performance, particularly with HRP2-detecting tests.
Project description:Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) primarily detect Plasmodium falciparum antigen histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) and the malaria-conserved antigen lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) for P. vivax and other malaria species. The performance of RDTs and their utility is dependent on circulating antigen concentration distributions in infected individuals in a population in which malaria is endemic and on the limit of detection of the RDT for the antigens. A multiplexed immunoassay for the quantification of HRP2, P. vivax LDH, and all-malaria LDH (pan LDH) was developed to accurately measure circulating antigen concentration and antigen distribution in a population with endemic malaria. The assay also measures C-reactive protein (CRP) levels as an indicator of inflammation. Validation was conducted with clinical specimens from 397 asymptomatic donors from Myanmar and Uganda, confirmed by PCR for infection, and from participants in induced blood-stage malaria challenge studies. The assay lower limits of detection for HRP2, pan LDH, P. vivax LDH, and CRP were 0.2?pg/ml, 9.3?pg/ml, 1.5?pg/ml, and 26.6?ng/ml, respectively. At thresholds for HRP2, pan LDH, and P. vivax LDH of 2.3?pg/ml, 47.8?pg/ml, and 75.1?pg/ml, respectively, and a specificity ?98.5%, the sensitivities for ultrasensitive PCR-confirmed infections were 93.4%, 84.9%, and 48.9%, respectively. Plasmodium LDH (pLDH) concentration, in contrast to that of HRP2, correlated closely with parasite density. CRP levels were moderately higher in P. falciparum infections with confirmed antigenemia versus those in clinical specimens with no antigen. The 4-plex array is a sensitive tool for quantifying diagnostic antigens in malaria infections and supporting the evaluation of new ultrasensitive RDTs.
Project description:Detection of histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum provides evidence for active or recent infection, and is utilized for both diagnostic and surveillance purposes, but current laboratory immunoassays for HRP2 are hindered by low sensitivities and high costs. Here we present a new HRP2 immunoassay based on antigen capture through a bead-based system capable of detecting HRP2 at sub-picogram levels. The assay is highly specific and cost-effective, allowing fast processing and screening of large numbers of samples. We utilized the assay to assess results of HRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in different P. falciparum transmission settings, generating estimates for true performance in the field. Through this method of external validation, HRP2 RDTs were found to perform well in the high-endemic areas of Mozambique and Angola with 86.4% and 73.9% of persons with HRP2 in their blood testing positive by RDTs, respectively, and false-positive rates of 4.3% and 0.5%. However, in the low-endemic setting of Haiti, only 14.5% of persons found to be HRP2 positive by the bead assay were RDT positive. Additionally, 62.5% of Haitians showing a positive RDT test had no detectable HRP2 by the bead assay, likely indicating that these were false positive tests. In addition to RDT validation, HRP2 biomass was assessed for the populations in these different settings, and may provide an additional metric by which to estimate P. falciparum transmission intensity and measure the impact of interventions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Plasmodium falciparum parasite is the only human malaria that produces the histidine-rich protein 2 and 3 (HRP2/3) antigens. Currently, HRP2/3 are widely used in malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), but several global reports have recently emerged showing genetic deletion of one or both of these antigens in parasites. Deletion of these antigens could pose a major concern for P. falciparum diagnosis in Haiti which currently uses RDTs based solely on the detection of the HRP2/3 antigens. METHODS:From September 2012 through February 2014, dried blood spots (DBS) were collected in Haiti from 9317 febrile patients presenting to 17 health facilities in 5 departments throughout the country as part of a bed net intervention study. All DBS from RDT positive persons and a random sampling of DBS from RDT negative persons were assayed for P. falciparum DNA by nested and PET-PCR (n?=?2695 total). All PCR positive samples (n?=?331) and a subset of PCR negative samples (n?=?95) were assayed for three malaria antigens by a multiplex bead assay: pan-Plasmodium aldolase (pAldo), pan-Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH), and HRP2/3. Any samples positive for P. falciparum DNA, but negative for HRP2/3 antigens were tested by nested PCR for Pfhrp2 and Pfhrp3 gene deletions. RESULTS:Of 2695 DBS tested for Plasmodium DNA, 345 (12.8%) were originally found to be positive for P. falciparum DNA; 331 of these had DBS available for antigen detection. Of these, 266 (80.4%) were positive for pAldo, 221 (66.8%) positive for pLDH, and 324 (97.9%) were positive for HRP2/3 antigens. Seven samples (2.1%) positive for P. falciparum DNA were not positive for any of the three antigens by the bead assay, and were investigated for potential Pfhrp2/3 gene deletion by PCR. These samples either successfully amplified Pfhrp2/3 genes or were at an estimated parasite density too low for sufficient DNA to perform successful genotyping. CONCLUSIONS:Malaria positive samples in multiple Haitian sites were found to contain the HRP2/3 antigens, and no evidence was found of Pfhrp2/3 deletions. Malaria RDTs based on the detection of the HRP2/3 antigens remain a reliable P. falciparum diagnostic tool as Haiti works towards malaria elimination.
Project description:Background:In rural areas, many patients with malaria seek care at peripheral health facilities or community case management programs. While this strategy is effective for the management of uncomplicated malaria, severe malaria necessitates prompt detection and referral to facilities with adequate resources. Methods:In this prospective, observational cohort study, we assessed the accuracy of a dual-band (histidine-rich protein-2/pan-lactate dehydrogenase [HRP2/pLDH]) rapid diagnostic test (RDT) to differentiate uncomplicated from severe malaria. We included children aged <12 years who presented to a rural clinic in western Uganda with a positive HRP2 or HRP2/pLDH RDT. We estimated the test characteristics of a dual-antigen (HRP2+/pLDH+) band positive RDT compared to World Health Organization-defined clinical and laboratory criteria to detect severe malaria. Results:A total of 2678 children underwent testing for malaria with an RDT, and 83 (9.0%) satisfied criteria for severe malaria. The sensitivity and specificity of a HRP2+/pLDH+ result for severe malaria was 97.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 90.8%-99.6%) and 75.6% (95% CI, 73.8%-77.4%), respectively. An HRP2+/pLDH+ result was significantly more sensitive (97.6% vs 68.7%, P < .001) for the detection of severe malaria compared to algorithms that incorporate screening for danger signs. Conclusions:A positive dual-antigen (HRP2/pLDH) RDT has higher sensitivity than the use of clinical manifestations to detect severe malaria, making it a promising tool in the triage of children with malaria in low-resource settings. Additional work is needed to operationalize diagnostic and treatment algorithms that include dual-antigen RDTs to avoid over referral.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2)-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are effective and widely used for the detection of wild-type Plasmodium falciparum infections. Although recent studies have reported false negative HRP2 RDT results due to pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions in different countries, there is a paucity of data on the deletions of these genes in Tanzania. METHODS:A community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted between July and November 2017 in four regions: Geita, Kigoma, Mtwara and Ruvuma. All participants had microscopy and RDT performed in the field and provided a blood sample for laboratory multiplex antigen detection (for Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase, aldolase, and P. falciparum HRP2). Samples showing RDT false negativity or aberrant relationship of HRP2 to pan-Plasmodium antigens were genotyped to detect the presence/absence of pfhrp2/3 genes. RESULTS:Of all samples screened by the multiplex antigen assay (n?=?7543), 2417 (32.0%) were positive for any Plasmodium antigens while 5126 (68.0%) were negative for all antigens. The vast majority of the antigen positive samples contained HRP2 (2411, 99.8%), but 6 (0.2%) had only pLDH and/or aldolase without HRP2. Overall, 13 samples had an atypical relationship between a pan-Plasmodium antigen and HRP2, but were positive by PCR. An additional 16 samples with negative HRP2 RDT results but P. falciparum positive by microscopy were also chosen for pfhrp2/3 genotyping. The summation of false negative RDT results and laboratory antigen results provided 35 total samples with confirmed P. falciparum DNA for pfhrp2/3 genotyping. Of the 35 samples, 4 (11.4%) failed to consistently amplify positive control genes; pfmsp1 and pfmsp2 and were excluded from the analysis. The pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes were successfully amplified in the remaining 31 (88.6%) samples, confirming an absence of deletions in these genes. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides evidence that P. falciparum parasites in the study area have no deletions of both pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 genes. Although single gene deletions could have been missed by the multiplex antigen assay, the findings support the continued use of HRP2-based RDTs in Tanzania for routine malaria diagnosis. There is a need for the surveillance to monitor the status of pfhrp2 and/or pfhrp3 deletions in the future.
Project description:Rapid diagnostics tests (RDTs) detect malaria specific antigen(s) in the circulation, even when parasites are sequestered in the placenta and not visible by microscopy. However, research on their diagnostic accuracy during pregnancy is limited. Pregnant women (n = 418) were screened for malaria during routine antenatal care by using two RDTs that detect histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2) or Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with antibodies that detect dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase or heme-detoxification protein, and compared with real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and microscopy for evaluation of their diagnostic accuracy. Prevalence of malaria infection was high (53% by PCR). The RT-PCR and the HRP2 RDT detected most cases of malaria during pregnancy, whereas microscopy, the Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase RDT, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for dihydrofolate reductase-thymidylate synthase and heme-detoxification protein antibodies did not detect several low-density infections. Therefore, the HRP2 RDT could be a useful tool in high-transmission areas for diagnosis of malaria in asymptomatic pregnant women.