Infected RBC flag/parameter provided by Mindray BC-6800 haematology analyzer aid the diagnosis of malaria

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Background: The Mindray BC-6800 haematology analyzer (BC-6800) provides a dedicated flag 'Infected RBC' (InR) and the number of InR (InR#)/the permillage of InR (InR‰) in routine blood testing as a screening tool for malaria in endemic areas. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the BC-6800 flag parameter for aiding the diagnosis of malaria. Methods: A total of 181 samples were tested using the Mindray BC-6800 haematology analyzer, including 117 malaria-infected samples collected from Yunnan, China, and 64 samples from healthy controls. Microscopy examination was conducted as reference when stained thick blood film revealed the presence of malaria parasites identified as Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was developed using Analyse-it v4.92.3. The Kappa value was determined to evaluate the agreement between BC-6800 and light microscopy. Results: The sensitivity of InR‰ generated by BC-6800 for P. vivax and P. falciparum was 88.3 and 24.1%, respectively; specificity of InR‰ for malaria parasites was 84.3 and 84.3%, respectively; positive predictive value and negative predictive value was 89.4 and 82.7% for P. vivax, and 52.8 and 60.3% for P. falciparum. There was a strong correlation between ΔWBC and InR‰ (R2 = 0.9731 for P. vivax and R2 = 0.9757 for P. falciparum). There was also a significant correlation between parasitaemia and InR# in P. vivax-infected samples (R2 = 0.734). InR# was evaluated using ROC curve analysis, the area under the ROC curve is 0.95 with a 95% confidence interval of 0.926 to 0.974, and the cut-off value is 0.01 × 109/L for P. vivax. However, the ring stage and the early trophozoite stage of Plasmodium cannot be detected easily on BC-6800, possibly because of the small size and low nucleic acid content of these stages. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the flag 'InR' and the parameters 'InR#/InR‰' provided by the BC-6800 haematology analyzer could be used to screen for malaria in a clinical setting.




Sun, Y., Xiang, D., Chen, C. C., He, S., Qi, H., & Wang, C. (2019). Infected RBC flag/parameter provided by Mindray BC-6800 haematology analyzer aid the diagnosis of malaria. Malaria Journal, 18(1).

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