Sensitive and accurate quantification of human malaria parasites using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR)

Koepfli, Cristian and Nguitragool, Wang and Hofmann, Natalie E. and Robinson, Leanne J. and Ome-Kaius, Maria and Sattabongkot, Jetsumon and Felger, Ingrid and Mueller, Ivo. (2016) Sensitive and accurate quantification of human malaria parasites using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). Scientific Reports, 6. p. 39183.

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Accurate quantification of parasite density in the human host is essential for understanding the biology and pathology of malaria. Semi-quantitative molecular methods are widely applied, but the need for an external standard curve makes it difficult to compare parasite density estimates across studies. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) allows direct quantification without the need for a standard curve. ddPCR was used to diagnose and quantify P. falciparum and P. vivax in clinical patients as well as in asymptomatic samples. ddPCR yielded highly reproducible measurements across the range of parasite densities observed in humans, and showed higher sensitivity than qPCR to diagnose P. falciparum, and equal sensitivity for P. vivax. Correspondence in quantification was very high (>0.95) between qPCR and ddPCR. Quantification between technical replicates by ddPCR differed 1.5-1.7-fold, compared to 2.4-6.2-fold by qPCR. ddPCR facilitates parasite quantification for studies where absolute densities are required, and will increase comparability of results reported from different laboratories.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
UniBasel Contributors:Hofmann, Natalie and Felger, Ingrid and Köpfli, Christian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:12 Oct 2017 09:50
Deposited On:20 Apr 2017 12:42

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