In this study, three molecular assays (real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction [PCR], merozoite surface antigen gene [MSP]-multiplex PCR, and the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit) have been developed for diagnosis of Plasmodium species. In total, 52 microscopy-positive and 20 malaria-negative samples were used in this study. We found that real-time multiplex PCR was the most sensitive for detecting P. falciparum and P. knowlesi. The MSP-multiplex PCR assay and the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit were equally sensitive for diagnosing P. knowlesi infection, whereas the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit and real-time multiplex PCR showed similar sensitivity for detecting P. vivax. The three molecular assays displayed 100% specificity for detecting malaria samples. We observed no significant differences between MSP-multiplex PCR and the PlasmoNex multiplex PCR kit (McNemar's test: P = 0.1489). However, significant differences were observed comparing real-time multiplex PCR with the PlasmoNex Multiplex PCR Kit (McNemar's test: P = 0.0044) or real-time multiplex PCR with MSP-multiplex PCR (McNemar's test: P = 0.0012).
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.