Fluorescent (acridine orange) microscopical examination of capillary centrifuged blood (quantitative buffy coat [QBC®] analysis) and Giemsa stained thick blood smears (GTS) were compared for diagnosis of malaria in blood specimens from adults living in malaria transmission areas of the States of Bolivar and Amazonas in southeastern and south Venezuela, respectively. Of a total of 198 GTS examined, 95 subjects (48%) showed parasitaemia. Among the 95 blood films with a positive GTS, 94 were judged positive by the QBC. However, positive QBC tubes were found in 29 out of 103 blood specimens with a negative GTS. Thus, relative to a GTS standard, the sensitivity and specificity of the QBC-test was 99.2% and 72%, respectively. Young trophozoites of Plasmodium vivax
and P. falciparum could not be distinguished with certainty. It is confirmed that the QBC offers many advantages compared with the standard diagnosis of malaria parasites, specifically in the speed of staining and ease of interpretation. However, in places where P. falciparum and P. vivax occur, species and stage differentiation should be confirmed with the GTS.