Plasmodium falciparum Malaria: Evaluation of Three Imported Cases

İNKAYA A. Ç., Kaya F., Yildiz I., UZUN Ö., ERGÜVEN S.

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.50, no.2, pp.328-332, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.23159
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.328-332
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Among Plasmodium species the causative agent of malaria in Turkey is P.vivax, however the incidence of imported falciparum malaria cases is steadily increasing. P.falciparum may cause severe malaria with the involvement of central nervous system, acute renal failure, severe anemia or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Furhermore most of the casualties due to malaria are related with P.falciparum. There is recently, a considerable increase in malaria infections especially in tropical areas. In this report, three cases, who have admitted to our hospital with three different clinical presentations of falciparum malaria, and all shared common history of travelling to Africa were presented. First case was a 27 years old, male patient who returned from Malawi seven days ago where he stayed for two weeks. He admitted to our hospital with the complaints of sensation of cold, shivering and fever. In physical examination his body temperature was 37.9 degrees C, C-reactive protein level was high, and the other systemic results were normal. The second case was a 25 years old, male patient who returned from Gambia two weeks ago. He was suffering from fever, headache, shivering and unable to maintain his balance. The patient's body temperature was 38 degrees C. Laboratory tests revealed hyperbilirubinemia and thrombocytopenia. Parasitological examination of the Giemsa-stained peripheral blood smear of these two patients demonstrated ring forms compatible with P.falciparum. Treatment was commenced with arthemeter plus lumefantrine, resulting with complete cure. Third case was a 46 years old, male patient who had been working in Uganda, and returned to Turkey two weeks ago. He had sudden onset of fever, headache, nausea and vomiting and impaired consciousness. His peripheral blood smear revealed ring-formed trophozoites and banana-shaped gametocytes of P.falciparum. Arthemeter plus lumefantrine therapy was started, however, he developed severe thrombocytopenia and jaundice under treatment. His general condition was detoriated and the patient lost his consciousness. As the patient's clinical signs were compatible with sepsis ceftriaxone plus clindamycin were added to the antiparasitic treatment emprically. Due to the development of acute tubular necrosis, the patient have undergone hemodialysis. On the 9(th) day of therapy the complaints and laboratory findings of the patient have improved, so he was discharged. However, visual defects due to retinopathy and severe neurocognitive impairment that were thought to be the complications of malaria continued in his follow-ups. As a result, it should be keep in mind that both the African students who have come to our country for education from endemic regions and as well as the returned citizens of our country who have gone to work in endemic areas, are under risk of malaria and it is very important to consider malaria in the distinctive diagnosis of patients with the complaints of fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle pain.