Rapid Malaria Test

Hi doc … I want to ask why the malaria rapid test (RDT) is not accurate compared to checking using a microscop. Because doctors in my company only rely on RDT. I have experienced symptoms of malaria but because of negative RDT results I was only given antibiotics.

1 Answer:

Hello Nuryadi, thank you for asking at HealthReplies.com.


RDT examination is one of the initial examination methods recommended for patients who are suspected of having malaria and this examination is sensitive enough and accurate enough to detect early malaria sufferers according to recommendations issued by WHO.


RDT examination can indeed give different results from the results of blood tests using a microscope because there are several factors that can cause RDT to be less sensitive such as storage method, quality of RDT devices, examination techniques and also antibody limit values ‚Äč‚Äčthat can be detected by the device. So this examination should indeed be further confirmed by examination using a microscope to determine whether or not parasites are found to cause malaria. However, the possibility of this difference can not be stated as an inaccuracy because the two examinations have different inspection methods, sensitivity and accuracy.


RDT examination results that show negative results although it is felt to have symptoms of malaria certainly can occur because the symptoms of malaria itself can resemble the symptoms of other diseases such as dengue fever, typhus, chikungunya or unspecified viral / bacterial infection.


If indeed you feel your complaint has not improved with the consumption of drugs given by your doctor (at least after 3-4 days you take the drug) and you are still sure that you have malaria, then you are allowed to check your complaint back to the doctor for re-evaluate and consult further to consider whether you need a malaria examination using a blood smear under a microscope or not.


In the meantime, continue to consume drugs given by your doctor and do all the recommendations given.


I hope this helps.

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