Systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of thick smear compared to polymerase chain reaction for pregnancy-associated malaria, 2010-2022

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17843/rpmesp.2022.393.11739

Keywords:

Thick Blood Smears, PCR, Diagnostic Accuracy, Malaria Associated with Pregnancy, Meta-analysis

Abstract

Objective. To evaluate the accuracy of thick smear (TS) versus quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM). Materials and methods. We carried out a systematic review of diagnostic tests in nine databases. Methodological quality was evaluated with QUADAS. Sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio (PLR), negative likelihood ratio (NLR), diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) and area under the ROC curve were estimated. Heterogeneity was determined with the Der Simonian-Laird Q method and uncertainty with the weighted percentage of each study on the overall result. Results. We included 10 studies with 5691 pregnant women, 1415 placentas and 84 neonates. In the studies with nested PCR (nPCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) as the standard, the diagnostic accuracy results were statistically similar, with very low sensitivity (50 and 54%, respectively), high specificity (99% in both cases), high PLR and poor NLR. When nPCR was used, the DOR was 162 (95%CI=66-401) and the area under the ROC curve was 95%, while with qPCR it was 231 (95%CI=27-1951) and 78%, respectively. Conclusions. We demonstrated that research on the diagnostic accuracy of TS in PAM is limited. Microscopy showed poor performance in the diagnosis of asymptomatic or low parasitemia infections, which reinforces the importance of implementing other types of techniques for the follow-up and control of malaria infections in pregnant women, in order to achieve the control and possible elimination of PAM.

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Published

2022-09-30

Issue

Section

Original Article

How to Cite

1.
Gómez-Hoyos R, Cardona-Arias JA, Higuita Gutiérrez LF, Salas-Zapata W, Carmona-Fonseca J. Systematic review of the diagnostic accuracy of thick smear compared to polymerase chain reaction for pregnancy-associated malaria, 2010-2022. Rev Peru Med Exp Salud Publica [Internet]. 2022 Sep. 30 [cited 2024 May 28];39(3):302-11. Available from: https://rpmesp.ins.gob.pe/index.php/rpmesp/article/view/11739