Malarial antigen PCR test is used to detect the presence of malarial antigen in the blood. This test helps in assessing the parasite load in blood. Based on the malarial parasite load in the blood, the treatment can be initiated. This test also helps to assess the effectiveness of the therapy.
What is malaria?
Malaria is mosquito-borne disease and caused by Plasmodium parasites. If an infected female Anopheles mosquito bite, the parasite will be transferred into the blood. Plasmodium species that infect humans are of four types, they are:
In case of infection due to Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium ovale, there are chances of relapse. Whereas in Plasmodium malaria or Plasmodium falciparum there are no chances of relapse. Rarely this can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy or delivery. This may also be transmitted through sharing needles with the infected person, organ transplant or blood transfusions. The usual incubation period is 7-30 days after the parasite enters into the red blood cells. Then the multiplication of the cells starts within 48-72 hours. The multiplication of cells leads to the rupture of red blood cells and causing the symptoms of malaria. The common symptoms of malaria are fever with chills, sweating, body pains, headaches, feeling discomfort, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, jaundice in some conditions, etc. The symptoms cannot be seen for at least 7 days after the infection and in some cases even after 14 days of infection. Plasmodium falciparum causes severe malaria and can be life-threatening. It may affect the brain, lungs, and kidneys leading to conditions like seizures, confusion, coma, acute respiratory distress, multi-organ failure, and death.
Why this test is performed?
This test may be recommended to you if you experience symptoms like fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, sweating profusely, body pains, muscle aches, headaches, discomfort, diarrhea, anemia, jaundice, etc. This test may also be recommended if you are already diagnosed with malaria and on treatment, to check the effectiveness of the antimalarial medicines. Your doctor may ask you to undergo this test if you have recently visited a malaria-prone area and started getting a fever.
Inform your doctor if you are on any medications, have any allergies or underlying medical conditions before your Malarial Antigen PCR. Your doctor will give specific instructions depending on your condition on how to prepare for Malarial Antigen PCR.
There is no specific preparation for this test.
If your test results show positive then you may be infected with a malaria parasite.
If your test results show negative then you may not be present with the malarial infection.
If you get positive test results to consult your doctor with your lab reports. Your doctor may recommend other tests depending on your test results.
|MALE||All age groups||The antigen is detected in positive cases|
|FEMALE||All age groups||The antigen is detected in positive cases|