Modelling the dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 in human malaria to better understand malaria rapid diagnostic test performance

Marquart, Louise, Butterworth, Alice, McCarthy, James S., & Gatton, Michelle L. (2012) Modelling the dynamics of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 in human malaria to better understand malaria rapid diagnostic test performance. Malaria Journal, 11, p. 74.

View at publisher (open access)


BACKGROUND: Effective diagnosis of malaria is a major component of case management. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) based on Plasmodium falciparumhistidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) are popular for diagnosis of this most virulent malaria infection. However, concerns have been raised about the longevity of the PfHRP2 antigenaemia following curative treatment in endemic regions.

METHODS: A model of PfHRP2 production and decay was developed to mimic the kinetics of PfHRP2 antigenaemia during infections. Data from two human infection studies was used to fit the model, and to investigate PfHRP2 kinetics. Four malaria RDTs were assessed in the laboratory to determine the minimum detectable concentration of PfHRP2.

RESULTS: Fitting of the PfHRP2 dynamics model indicated that in malaria naive hosts, P. falciparum parasites of the 3D7 strain produce 1.4 x 10(-)(1)(3) g of PfHRP2 per parasite per replication cycle. The four RDTs had minimum detection thresholds between 6.9 and 27.8 ng/mL. Combining these detection thresholds with the kinetics of PfHRP2, it is predicted that as few as 8 parasites/muL may be required to maintain a positive RDT in a chronic infection.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the model indicate that good quality PfHRP2-based RDTs should be able to detect parasites on the first day of symptoms, and that the persistence of the antigen will cause the tests to remain positive for at least seven days after treatment. The duration of a positive test result following curative treatment is dependent on the duration and density of parasitaemia prior to treatment and the presence and affinity of anti-PfHRP2 antibodies.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
8 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

30 since deposited on 18 Aug 2014
9 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 75104
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Antigens, Protozoan/*blood, Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods, Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods, Humans, Malaria, Falciparum/*diagnosis, Parasitology/methods, Protozoan Proteins/*blood
DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-11-74
ISSN: 1475-2875
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Biological Mathematics (010202)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Marquart et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2014 01:55
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 08:01

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page