Publications & Reports

Magneto-optical diagnosis of symptomatic malaria in Papua New Guinea.

Arndt L, Koleala T, Orbán Á, Ibam C, Lufele E, Timinao L, Lorry L, Butykai Á, Kaman P, Molnár AP, Krohns S, Nate E, Kucsera I, Orosz E, Moore B, Robinson LJ, Laman M, Kézsmárki I, Karl S
Institute of Natural Materials Technology, University of Technology, Dresden, Germany.


Improved methods for malaria diagnosis are urgently needed. Here, we evaluate a novel method named rotating-crystal magneto-optical detection (RMOD) in 956 suspected malaria patients in Papua New Guinea. RMOD tests can be conducted within minutes and at low cost. We systematically evaluate the capability of RMOD to detect infections by directly comparing it with expert light microscopy, rapid diagnostic tests and polymerase chain reaction on capillary blood samples. We show that compared to light microscopy, RMOD exhibits 82% sensitivity and 84% specificity to detect any malaria infection and 87% sensitivity and 88% specificity to detect Plasmodium vivax. This indicates that RMOD could be useful in P. vivax dominated elimination settings. Parasite density correlates well with the quantitative magneto-optical signal. Importantly, residual hemozoin present in malaria-negative patients is also detectable by RMOD, indicating its ability to detect previous infections. This could be exploited to reveal transmission hotspots in low-transmission settings.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Nature Communications
  • Published: 12/02/2021
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 969