DOI: 10.1101/19001206Jul 12, 2019Paper

Detection of malaria parasites in dried human blood spots using mid-infrared spectroscopy and logistic regression analysis

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Emmanuel P MwangaFredros O Okumu


Background: Epidemiological surveys of malaria currently rely on microscopy, polymerase chain reaction assays (PCR) or rapid diagnostic test kits for Plasmodium infections (RDTs). This study shows that mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy coupled with supervised machine learning could constitute an alternative method for rapid malaria screening, directly from dried human blood spots. Methods: Filter papers containing dried blood spots (DBS) were obtained from a cross-sectional malaria survey in twelve wards in south-eastern Tanzania in 2018/19. The DBS were scanned using attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectrometer to obtain high-resolution MIR spectra in the range, 4000 cm-1 to 500 cm-1. The spectra were cleaned to compensate for atmospheric water vapor and CO2 interference bands and used to train different classification algorithms to distinguish between malaria-positive and malaria-negative DBS papers based on PCR test results as reference. The analysis considered 296 individuals, including 123 PCR-confirmed malaria-positives and 173 negatives. Model training was done using 80% of the dataset, after which the best-fitting model was optimized by bootstrapping of 80/20 train/test stratified splits....Continue Reading

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