A Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) is an alternate way of quickly establishing the diagnosis of malaria infection by detecting specific malaria antigens in a person's blood. Variations occur between products, such as targets and formats, though the principles of the tests are similar. Malaria RDTs detect specific antigens (proteins) produced by malaria parasites in the blood of infected individuals. Malaria antigen detection tests are a group of commercially available rapid diagnostic tests of the rapid antigen test type that allow quick diagnosis of malaria by people who are not otherwise skilled in traditional laboratory techniques for diagnosing malaria or in situations where such equipment is not available. The first malaria antigen suitable as target for such a test was a soluble glycolytic enzyme Glutamate dehydrogenase. None of the rapid tests are currently as sensitive as a thick blood film, nor as cheap. A major drawback in the use of all current dipstick methods is that the result is essentially qualitative. Malaria is a curable disease if the patients have access to early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Antigen-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have an important role at the periphery of health services capability because none of the rural clinics has the ability to diagnose malaria on-site due to a lack of microscopes and trained technicians to evaluate blood films. Furthermore, in regions where the disease is not endemic laboratory technologists have very limited experience in detecting and identifying malaria parasites. An ever increasing numbers of travelers from temperate areas each year visit tropical countries and many of them return with a malaria infection. The RDT tests are still regarded as complements to conventional microscopy but with some improvements it may well replace the microscope. The tests are simple and the procedure can be performed on the spot in field conditions. These tests use finger-stick or venous blood, the completed test takes a total of 15
Also known as: MP Antigen Spot test Blood, Malarial Antigen Spot test, MP Antigen Spot test.