The study was conducted to compare the traditional microscopic examination of blood film for malarial parasite detection with that of total serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity and to assess the differential diagnosis of falciparum and vivax malaria in 124 patients (Age group of 10-60years) suffering from fever with chills suspected of malaria. Twenty healthy age matched controls were also included in study. The blood samples were collected from individuals visiting out patient department of Surat Municipal Institute of Medical Education And Research with history of chills, malaise and fever for a period of 1-8 days and assayed for LDH activity and microscopy for detection of parasitemia.Twenty seven out of 124 samples were shown to be positive for Plasmodium falciparum by microscopy also showed raised levels of LDH activity in serum (mean LDH 442.3833+19.1006).Sixteen samples which were positive for Plasmodium vivax by microscopic examination showed normal total serum LDH range(Mean LDH 164.61) . Six samples which were negative for falciparum as well as vivax by microscopy showed raised total serum LDH activity(Mean LDH 386.5+38.03), responded to antimalarial therapy, suggesting probability of low parasitemia. The present study suggests that determination of total serum LDH activity is reliable tool for diagnosis of falciparum malaria and also for differentiation of falciparum and vivax infections. The present study reveals that determination of total LDH activity can serve as reliable diagnostic aid in differentiating falciparum and vivax malaria.
Malaria, P. falciparum, P. vivax, Lactate Dehydrogenase