Malaria: Union government bans antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test

The central government is has decided that the use of antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test for routine diagnosis of malaria as serological testing is not practical for routine diagnosis of acute malaria due to the time required for the development of antibody, the persistence of antibodies after clearance of an active detection and the fact that serology does not detect current infection, but measures past exposure

Malaria: Union government bans antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test
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Whereas, malaria antibody detection is performed using the indirect fluorescent antibody test for a patient who is infected with plasmodium and because of the time required for development of antibody and also the persistence of antibodies, serologic testing is not practical for routine diagnosis of acute malaria.

There is a rampant use of antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test due to its low cost and free availability.

The false positive rate in endemic areas is also high as patients with fever due to other reasons, who test positive by antibody detecting rapid diagnostic tests.

And whereas, the only tests used in diagnosis are antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test and blood smear examination, and therefore there would not be any problems faced for malaria diagnosis by banning the antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test.

Malaria: Union government bans antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test

The matter has been examined by an expert committee appointed by the central government and the committee has recommended to the central government that the said drug is found to have no therapeutic identification.

On the basis of the recommendations of the expert committee, the central government is satisfied that it is necessary and expedient to prohibit the use of the antibody detecting rapid diagnostic test for routine diagnosis of malaria in public interest.

Now, therefore in exercise of the powers conferred by section 26 A of the Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1940, the central government hereby prohibits the manufacture for sale, sale and distribution of the test kits used in of antibody detecting rapid diagnostic tests for routine diagnosis of malaria with immediate effect.

Speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Sandeep Yadav, President of Maharashtra Association of Pathologist and Microbiologist said, “This is a welcome move that government has decided to ban antigen rapid detection test. This test was misused a number of times. Many a times, patients were made to undergo the test without any valid reason.”

Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare