Accurate diagnosis of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is required to avoid the risk of acute hemolysis associated with 8-aminoquinoline treatment. The performance of the BinaxNOW G6PD test compared with the quantitative spectrophotometric analysis of G6PD activity was assessed in 356 Plasmodium vivax-infected subjects in Brazil, Peru, Thailand, and India. In the quantitative assay, the median G6PD activity was 8.81 U/g hemoglobin (range = 0.05-20.19), with 11 (3%) subjects identified as deficient. Sensitivity of the BinaxNOW G6PD to detect deficient subjects was 54.5% (6 of 11), and specificity was 100% (345 of 345). Room temperatures inadvertently falling outside the range required to perform the rapid test (18-25°C) together with subtlety of color change and insufficient training could partially explain the low sensitivity found. Ensuring safe use of 8-aminoquinolines depends on additional development of simple, highly sensitive G6PD deficiency diagnostic tests suitable for routine use in malaria-endemic areas.
View the full article on the The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene website.