Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Adaptations of the Saker-Solomons test: simple, reliable colorimetric field assays for chloroquine and its metabolites in urine.

PMID 2766451


Two field-adapted colorimetric methods for measuring the antimalarial drug chloroquine in urine are described. Both are modifications of the method of Saker and Solomons for screening urine for phencyclidine and other drugs of abuse, using the colour reagent tetrabromophenolphthalein ethyl ester. One method is semiquantitative, detecting the presence of chloroquine (Cq) and its metabolites in urine with a 1 microgram/ml detection limit; it is more sensitive and reliable than the commonly used Dill-Glazko method and is as easy to apply in the field. The second method uses a hand-held, battery-operated filter photometer to quantify Cq and its metabolites with a 2 microgram/ml detection limit and a linear range up to 8 micrograms/ml. The first method was validated in the field using a published quantitative colorimetric method and samples from a malaria study in Nigeria. The second method was validated in the laboratory against high-performance liquid chromatographic results on paired samples from the Nigerian study. Both methods may be used in remote locations where malaria is endemic and no electricity is available.