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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 170
 

Usefulness of quantitative buffy coat blood parasite detection system in the diagnosis of malaria


Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029, India



How to cite this article:
Mirdha B R. Usefulness of quantitative buffy coat blood parasite detection system in the diagnosis of malaria. Indian J Med Microbiol 2002;20:170


How to cite this URL:
Mirdha B R. Usefulness of quantitative buffy coat blood parasite detection system in the diagnosis of malaria. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2002 [cited 2020 May 31];20:170. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2002/20/3/170/6948


Dear Editor,
This refers to the article “Usefulness of Quantitative Buffy Coat Blood Parasite Detection System in the Diagnosis of Malaria”.[1] The authors have brought out interesting interpretation of quantitative buffy coat (QBC) assay for the diagnosis of this age old disease and have nicely summed up by mentioning to record the experience of other workers in this respect. I wish to share the experience on the efforts made in our laboratory. QBC assay has advantages beyond any doubt in terms of speed, ease, reliability and sensitivity in diagnosis of malaria.[2] In addition, it has been of immense help in identifying the infective carriers with a very low parasite burden. In our experience, patients with unexplained low-grade fever for prolonged duration often showed presence of pigmented cells in QBC assay, but negative by peripheral smear examination. Upon administration of anti-malarial therapy, these patients showed clearance of pigmented cells with good clinical recovery.[3] It is quite convincing and agreeable with authors' findings that the colour of an expected malaria positive QBC tube (greyish black colour) is definitely different than a malaria negative blood sample. Macroscopic examination of QBC tube often enables to predict a positivity of malaria. It has also been noted that colour of the plasma in buffy coat also indicates about anaemia and jaundice. When such suspicions were corroborated with both clinical and haematological parameters of patients, a good correlation was obtained. In few cases, upon microscopic examination of QBC preparation, presence of immature cells and prediction of pancytopenia have also been made to give a suggestive indication for diseases like a plastic anaemia and kala-azar respectively. QBC assay has also been helpful in detection of microfilaria after hetrazan provocative test and/or night blood examination. It is therefore suggested that many relevant informations may be obtained from both naked eye and microscopic examination of QBC tube which are useful in informing the clinician in a very short period of time. However, the only point of disagreement is the subjective quantitative estimation of parasite made by authors'[1] using plus system (1+, 2+, 3+......). It could have had a better analytical value if the parasite count[4] (in peripheral smear) was done and compared either prospectively or retrospectively. 

 ~ References Top

1.Pinto MJW, Rodrigues SR, DeSouza R, Verenker MP. Usefulness of quantitative buffy coat blood parasite detection system in diagnosis of malaria. Ind J Med Microbiol 2001;19(4):219-221.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Kwamato F. Rapid diagnosis of malaria by fluorescence microscopy with light microscopy and interference filter. Lancet 1991; 337:200-202.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Mirdha BR, Samantray JC, Burman D, Mishra B, Ghimire P. Quantitative buffy coat: A special adjunct for diagnosis of malaria. J Com Dis 1999;31 (1):19-22.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.World Health Organisation. Basic laboratory methods of medical parasitology. Geneva 1991;81-88.  Back to cited text no. 4    
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