The measurement of specific antibodies against species of the genus Plasmodium is used for the laboratory diagnosis of malaria.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by Plasmodium protozoan. Transmission of Plasmodium is carried out by Anopheles mosquitoes, but it can also occur through blood transfusions. Humans can be infected by four different species of Plasmodium: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae.
Infections with P. falciparum can be fatal. P. falciparum and P. vivax are the most common species. The disease mainly occurs in tropical and subtropical regions.
Infection with Plasmodium induces the production of specific antibodies. Generally, they can be detected within a few days after the appearance of the parasites in the blood. The titers of specific antibodies are proportional to the severity and duration of the infection. Antibody detection is a more sensitive method than direct detection of the pathogen (thick blood smear) and independent of the state of infection. In patients infected for the first time, the level of specific antibodies decreases rapidly after recovery. In contrast, antibody levels decrease slowly (within 2 - 3 years) in the case of patients with re-infection who move to non-endemic areas.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.