A Systematic Literature Review of Microscopy Methods Reported in Malaria Clinical Trials

Debashish Das et al


Microscopy of stained blood films is essential for the diagnosis of malaria, differentiation of parasite species, and estimation of parasite density performed for assessments of antimalarial drug efficacy. The accuracy and comparability of these measures over time and space are vital to discern the emergence or spread of antimalarial drug resistance. Although evidence-based guidelines for malaria microscopy methods exist, the age-old microscopy techniques for parasitological assessments are subject to considerable methodological variations.

The purpose of this review was to explore critically how microscopy methods were reported in published malarial studies between 2013 and 2017 with the focus on outlining the methodological differences and improving reporting standards in practice.