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Comparison of methods for detecting asymptomatic malaria infections in the China–Myanmar border area

Overview of attention for article published in Malaria Journal, April 2017
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (56th percentile)
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Mentioned by

4 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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80 Mendeley
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Comparison of methods for detecting asymptomatic malaria infections in the China–Myanmar border area
Published in
Malaria Journal, April 2017
DOI 10.1186/s12936-017-1813-0
Pubmed ID

Yonghong Zhao, Yan Zhao, Yanmin Lv, Fei Liu, Qinghui Wang, Peipei Li, Zhenjun Zhao, Yingjie Liu, Liwang Cui, Qi Fan, Yaming Cao


Sensitive methods for detecting asymptomatic malaria infections are essential for identifying potential transmission reservoirs and obtaining an accurate assessment of malaria epidemiology in low-endemicity areas aiming to eliminate malaria. PCR techniques to detect parasite nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) are among the most commonly used molecular methods. However, most of these methods are of low throughput and cannot be used for large-scale molecular epidemiological studies. A recently developed capture and ligation probe-PCR (CLIP-PCR) is claimed to have the sensitivity of molecular techniques and the high throughput capacity needed for screening purposes. This study aimed to compare several molecular methods for detecting asymptomatic and submicroscopic Plasmodium infections in healthy residents of a malaria-hypoendemic region in Southeast Asia, where malaria elimination is in sight. This study compared three molecular detection methods side-by-side, namely nested PCR targeting the rRNA genes, nested RT-PCR to detect parasite rRNA, and CLIP-PCR to detect parasite rRNA in 1005 healthy individuals in northeastern Myanmar. For nested PCR and RT-PCR, parasite DNA and total RNA were extracted from ~100 µL of blood, whereas RNA used for CLIP-PCR was from a 3 mm disk of dried blood filter paper. The sensitivity and specificity of these methods were compared with those of conventional light microscopy. In addition, RT-PCR and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) targeting the Pvs25 gene in Plasmodium vivax were used to assess gametocyte prevalence in the samples. Light microscopy detected Plasmodium infections in only 1.19% of the residents harbouring the parasites. CLIP-PCR had slightly better performance and detected Plasmodium infections in 1.89% of the population. Further improvement was achieved by nested PCR to detect parasite DNA, which detected P. vivax and Plasmodium falciparum infections in 2.39% of the residents. The nested RT-PCR targeting rRNA, however, detected as many as 187 (18.61%) individuals having Plasmodium infections with P. vivax being the predominant species (176 P. vivax, 5 P. falciparum and 6 P. falciparum/P. vivax mixed infections). Of the 210 Plasmodium-positive samples detected by all molecular methods, 115 were Pvs25-positive by qRT-PCR, indicating that a large proportion of asymptomatic individuals were gametocyte carriers. Nested RT-PCR based on the detection of asexual-stage parasite rRNA was the most sensitive, with a more than sixfold higher sensitivity than the other two molecular methods of parasite detection. CLIP-PCR has an increased throughput, but its sensitivity in this study was much lower than those of other molecular methods, which may be partially due to the smaller amount of RNA input used.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 80 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Brazil 1 1%
Unknown 79 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 20 25%
Researcher 11 14%
Student > Bachelor 6 8%
Student > Ph. D. Student 5 6%
Professor 4 5%
Other 15 19%
Unknown 19 24%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 12 15%
Medicine and Dentistry 12 15%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 9 11%
Nursing and Health Professions 5 6%
Immunology and Microbiology 4 5%
Other 14 18%
Unknown 24 30%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 30 August 2017.
All research outputs
of 11,676,441 outputs
Outputs from Malaria Journal
of 3,440 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 265,135 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Malaria Journal
of 135 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 11,676,441 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 45th percentile – i.e., 45% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 3,440 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 5.2. This one is in the 39th percentile – i.e., 39% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,135 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 56% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 135 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 31st percentile – i.e., 31% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.