Technical evaluation and usability of a quantitative G6PD POC test in cord blood: a mixed-methods study in a low-resource setting

Germana Bancone, Mary Ellen Gilder, Elsie Win, Gornpan Gornsawun, Penporn Penpitchaporn, Phaw Khu Moo, Laypaw Archasuksan, Nan San Wai, Sylverine Win, Ko Ko Aung, Ahmar Hashmi, Borimas Hanboonkunupakarn, Francois Nosten, Verena Ilona Carrara, Rose McGready

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: New point-of-care (POC) quantitative G6PD testing devices developed to provide safe radical cure for Plasmodium vivax malaria may be used to diagnose G6PD deficiency in newborns at risk of severe neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia, improving clinical care, and preventing related morbidity and mortality. METHODS: We conducted a mixed-methods study analysing technical performance and usability of the 'STANDARD G6PD' Biosensor when used by trained midwives on cord blood samples at two rural clinics on the Thailand-Myanmar border. RESULTS: In 307 cord blood samples, the Biosensor had a sensitivity of 1.000 (95% CI: 0.859 to 1.000) and a specificity of 0.993 (95% CI: 0.971 to 0.999) as compared with gold-standard spectrophotometry to diagnose G6PD-deficient newborns using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis-derived threshold of ≤4.8 IU/gHb. The Biosensor had a sensitivity of 0.727 (95% CI: 0.498 to 0.893) and specificity of 0.933 (95% CI: 0.876 to 0.969) for 30%-70% activity range in girls using ROC analysis-derived range of 4.9-9.9 IU/gHb. These thresholds allowed identification of all G6PD-deficient neonates and 80% of female neonates with intermediate phenotypes.Need of phototherapy treatment for neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia was higher in neonates with deficient and intermediate phenotypes as diagnosed by either reference spectrophotometry or Biosensor.Focus group discussions found high levels of learnability, willingness, satisfaction and suitability for the Biosensor in this setting. The staff valued the capacity of the Biosensor to identify newborns with G6PD deficiency early ('We can know that early, we can counsel the parents about the chances of their children getting jaundice') and at the POC, including in more rural settings ('Because we can know the right result of the G6PD deficiency in a short time, especially for the clinic which does not have a lab'). CONCLUSIONS: The Biosensor is a suitable tool in this resource-constrained setting to identify newborns with abnormal G6PD phenotypes at increased risk of neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e066529
JournalBMJ open
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 13 2022


  • molecular biology
  • neonatology
  • paediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Technical evaluation and usability of a quantitative G6PD POC test in cord blood: a mixed-methods study in a low-resource setting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this