Usefulness of polymerase chain reaction in the diagnosis of asymptomatic Plasmodium infection

Abstract number: P750

Rodríguez-Guardado A., Pérez F., Ordás J., Fernández J., Perez A., Cartón J.A.

Background: In malaria-endemic countries with stable transmission of malaria, semi-immunity is usually acquired after childhood. Infected adults have either uncomplicated malaria or asymptomatic parasitaemia. This fact is frequent in immigrant population

Methods: During the period of one year we screened 117 immigrants to investigate the presence of asymptomatic malaria. In all patients we realised microscopic examination of thin and thick blood smears, determination of plasmodium antigen (BINAX NOW®) and nested-PCR.

Results: During the period of the study we diagnosed 5 cases of asymptomatic malaria in five patients (4 women, one man). The other techniques were negatives. The countries of precedence were: Equatorial Guinea (two cases), Senegal, Brazil and Ivory Coast (one case respectively). The mean of stay in Spain was 852 days (limits 123–1825). No patients come back to native countries in this time. In three cases the nested-PCR was positive to Plasmodium falciparum and in two cases Plasmodium malariae. No patients showed symptoms or analytic disturbance. All patients were treated with quinine and doxycicline. No patients dead. After the treatment the PCR became negative in all patients.

Conclusions: Asymptomatic Plasmodium spp. parasitaemia in immigrants proceedings of malaria-endemic country is frequent. PCR appears to be a useful method for detecting asymptomatic malaria or low parasitaemias in immigrant patients. This fact is very important in detection and management of imported malaria.

Session Details

Date: 19/04/2008
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Presentation type:
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