What are approach considerations for mixed infections of malaria?

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

Mixed infections involving more than 1 species of Plasmodium may occur in areas of high endemicity and multiple circulating malarial species. In these cases, clinical differentiation and decision making will be important; however, the clinician should have a low threshold for including the possible presence of P falciparum in the treatment considerations.

Occasionally, morphologic features do not permit distinction between P falciparum and other Plasmodium species. In such cases, patients from a P falciparum –endemic area should be presumed to have P falciparum infection and should be treated accordingly.

In patients from Southeast Asia, consider the possibility of P knowlesi infection. This species frequently causes hyperparasitemia and the infection tends to be more severe than infections with other non– P falciparum plasmodia. It should be treated as P falciparum infection.


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