Lab Med Online.  2012 Jan;2(1):51-54. 10.3343/lmo.2012.2.1.9.

A Case of Plasmodium ovale Malaria Imported from West Africa

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. taeheehan@paik.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

In Korea, the majority of imported malaria cases are Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum, but Plasmodium ovale cases are rarely reported. We describe an imported case of P. ovale that was confirmed by peripheral blood smear and nested PCR targeting the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene. A 37-yr-old male had visited the Republic of Ghana in tropical West Africa 3 months ago, and suffered from fever and headache since 2 weeks after his return to Korea. The results of rapid malaria test using SD Malaria Antigen/Antibody Kit (Standard Diagnostics, Korea) were negative, but Plasmodium species was observed in Wright-Giemsa-stained peripheral blood smear. For the evaluation of possible mixed infection and identification of species, we performed a nested PCR targeting the SSU rRNA gene. P. ovale single infection was confirmed by PCR. The sequence analysis of the P. ovale SSU rRNA gene showed that our isolate was P. ovale classic type. We should confirm P. ovale infection for an accurate diagnosis and treatment of imported malaria cases in Korea because the number of travelers to P. ovale-endemic regions has recently increased.

Keyword

Malaria; Plasmodium ovale
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