A rapid test for diagnosis of malaria based on acridine orange staining of centrifuged blood samples in a microhaematocrit tube (Quantitative Buffy Coat - QBC) was compared with thick and thin peripheral blood smears in 287 samples. Malaria was diagnosed in 41 patients by Leishman staining technique and QBC method. The QBC method allowed detection of an additional 24 cases. Thus the prevalence rate of malaria during the study was 22.7%. In 222 Patients who were negative by the QBC technique, the Leishman stained smears were also negative for malarial parasite. Although QBC method was superior to the smear for malarial parasite detection, species identification was not possible in 32 cases by this technique.The QBC method has its advantages in terms of speed, sensitivity and ease, especially in an endemic area as ours. The QBC method helps in the diagnosis of jaundice, aplastic anaemia and kala-azar. . The QBC system can also be used in the diagnosis of other parasitic diseases such as filariasis. However, Leishman stained thin blood smear still appear superior for species identification.
Malaria, Peripheral Blood Smear, Quantitative Buffy Coat