Hydrophilic-treated plastic plates for wide-range analysis of Giemsa-stained red blood cells and automated Plasmodium infection rate counting


Background: Malaria is a red blood cell (RBC) infection caused by Plasmodium parasites. To determine RBC infection rate, which is essential for malaria study and diagnosis, microscopic evaluation of Giemsa-stained thin blood smears on glass slides (‘Giemsa microscopy’) has been performed as the accepted gold standard for over 100 years. However, only a small area of the blood smear provides a monolayer of RBCs suitable for determination of infection rate, which is one of the major reasons for the low parasite detection rate by Giemsa microscopy. In addition, because Giemsa microscopy is exacting and time-consuming, automated counting of infection rates is highly desirable. Results: A method that allows for microscopic examination of Giemsa-stained cells spread in a monolayer on almost the whole surface of hydrophilic-treated cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) plates was established. Because wide-range Giemsa microscopy can be performed on a hydrophilic-treated plate, the method may enable more reliable diagnosis of malaria in patients with low parasitaemia burden. Furthermore, the number of RBCs and parasites stained with a fluorescent nuclear staining dye could be counted automatically with a software tool, without Giemsa staining. As a result, researchers studying malaria may calculate the infection rate easily, rapidly, and accurately even in low parasitaemia. Conclusion: Because the running cost of these methods is very low and they do not involve complicated techniques, the use of hydrophilic COC plates may contribute to improved and more accurate diagnosis and research of malaria.


  • Malaria Journal

    Malaria Journal 16 321-, 2017-08-08

    BioMed Central|Springer Nature

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