A molecular-based magnet test for malaria

R. M. Nalbandian, D. W. Sammons, M. Manley, L. Xie, C. R. Sterling, N. B. Egen, B. A. Gingras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The molecular-based magnet test for malaria is shown to be more sensitive than the thin blood film test. The globally used thin blood film test is less sensitive because it uses preparation steps that result in the reduction of the absolute number of diagnostically pertinent erythrocytes. Several reports of diagnostic error with the thin film test and the thick film test have appeared in the literature. In marked contrast to the commonly accepted tests, the magnet test concurrently partitions and concentrates the infected erythrocytes present in the initial sample. The magnetic test permits a brief and sensitive microscopic-based enumeration of the malaria-infected erythrocytes in the enriched sample. Diagnostically pertinent hemozoin is simply identified through two of its specific molecular properties: paramagnetism and birefringence. The former property mediates the capture and enrichment of malaria-infected erythrocytes within the magnetic flux and the latter property manifests the characteristic birefringence demonstrated by polarized light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Birefringence
  • Hemozoin
  • Magnetic separator
  • Malaria test
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Polarized light

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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