The antibody levels against the C-terminal region of the merozoite surface protein 1 of Plasmodium vivax (PvMSP1c) were measured in 276 patients with P. vivax malaria (patient group), 320 malaria-naïve healthy individuals (control group 1), and 70 malaria-naïve individuals with various disorders (control group 2) using the immunoglobulin M (IgM) capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the direct sandwich ELISA. To evaluate the antibody response during relapse, 5 relapsed patients were tested using the IgM capture ELISA. The IgM antibodies were negative in 99.7% of control group 1 and in 100% of control group 2; they were positive in 90.6% of the patient group. The total antibody levels were positive in 88.4% of the patient group with the direct sandwich ELISA. The sera from the second malaria episode, i.e., relapsed patients, were 100% positive on the IgM capture ELISA. The results of this study suggest that the IgM capture ELISA may be a useful diagnostic method for P. vivax malaria for both primary infection and relapse.

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