Lab Med Online.  2015 Jan;5(1):33-37. 10.3343/lmo.2015.5.1.33.

A Case of Plasmodium malariae Infection Imported from Guinea

Affiliations
  • 1Health Science, Dankook University Graduate School, Cheonan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Ansan University, Ansan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Malaria and Parasitic Disease, National Institutes of Health, Cheongju, Korea.
  • 4Department of Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. jyjasmine@catholic.ac.kr

Abstract

Recently, the number of Korean travelers and workers to malaria-endemic regions has increased, and the number of patients with imported malaria cases has increased as well. In Korea, most cases of imported malaria infections are caused by Plasmodium falciparum and P. vivax. Only one report of imported P. malariae infection has been published thus far. Here, we describe a case of imported P. malariae infection that was confirmed by peripheral blood smear and nested PCR targeting the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene. A 53-yr-old man, who had stayed in the Republic of Guinea in tropical West Africa for about 40 days, experienced fever and headache for 3 days before admission. The results of rapid malaria test using the SD Malaria Antigen/Antibody Kit (Standard Diagnostics, Korea) were negative, but Wright-Giemsa stained peripheral blood smear revealed Plasmodium. To identify the Plasmodium species and to examine if the patient had a mixed infection, we performed nested PCR targeting the SSU rRNA gene. P. malariae single infection was confirmed by nested PCR. Sequence analysis of the SSU rRNA gene of P. malariae showed that the isolated P. malariae was P. malariae type 2. Thus, our findings suggest that when cases of imported malaria infection are suspected, infection with P. malariae as well as P. falciparum and P. vivax should be considered. For the accurate diagnosis and treatment of imported malaria cases, we should confirm infection with Plasmodium species by PCR as well as peripheral blood smear and rapid malaria antigen test.

Keyword

Malaria; Plasmodium malariae; Nested PCR
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