What is the presentation of Plasmodium malariae (P malariae) malaria infection?

Updated: Apr 26, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

P malariae does not have a hypnozoite stage, but patients infected with P malariae may have a prolonged, asymptomatic erythrocytic infection that becomes symptomatic years after leaving the endemic area.

Tertian and quartan fevers are due to the cyclic lysis of red blood cells that occurs as trophozoites complete their cycle in erythrocytes every 2 or 3 days, respectively. P malariae causes quartan fever; P vivax and P ovale cause the benign form of tertian fever, and P falciparum causes the malignant form. The cyclic pattern of fever is very rare.


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