- A rapid and simple assay for detecting Plasmodium falciparum in human blood was developed. The assay is based on DNA-DNA spot hybridization, using radiolabeled P. falciparum DNA as a probe and finger prick blood as the assay sample. It is very sensitive, able to detect parasitemia levels of 0.0001% in 10 microliter of blood. The assay can be quantified and used to estimate parasitemia levels. Several hundred blood samples can be processed simultaneously, and the entire procedure is completed within 24 hr. This assay can be useful for epidemiological surveys, for screening of blood by blood banks and for health authorities examining immigrants and tourists coming from malaria infested areas.