Affordable Access

Development of a PCR Assay Followed by Nonradioactive Hybridization Using Oligonucleotides Covalently Bound to CovaLink NH Microwells for Detection of Four Plasmodium Species in Blood Samples from Humans

American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Medicine


We developed and evaluated a PCR-based assay to detect four Plasmodium species in 79 blood samples from 56 travelers returning from areas where malaria is endemic. DNA amplification targeting a small region of the 18S rRNA gene was performed with Plasmodium genus-specific primers. The biotinylated PCR products were then identified by PCR-colorimetric Covalink NH microwell plate hybridization (CMPH) using species-specific phosphorylated probes covalently bound to a pretreated polystyrene surface. The results from PCR-CMPH showed high specificity, and for 47 of the 56 patients (84%), microscopy and PCR-CMPH results were in agreement. Discordant results were reevaluated with microscopy examination, other molecular methods, and DNA sequencing. Except for one patient, discrepancies were resolved in favor of PCR-CMPH: three mixed infections were detected, four species identification errors were corrected, and two negative results were shown to be positive. Our results indicate that PCR-CMPH is a simple, rapid, and specific method for malaria diagnosis. It employs stable reagents and inexpensive equipment, making it suitable for routine epidemiological use.


Seen <100 times