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Plasmodium ovale infection in Malaysia: first imported case

DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-272

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Peripheral blood sample was first examined by Giemsa-stained microscopy examination and further confirmed using a patented in-house multiplex PCR followed by sequencing.Initial results from peripheral blood smear examination diagnosed P. vivax infection. However further analysis using a patented in-house multiplex PCR followed by sequencing confirmed the presence of P. ovale. Given that Anopheles maculatus and Anopheles dirus, vectors of P. ovale are found in Malaysia, this finding has significant implication on Malaysia's public health sector.The current finding should serve as an alert to epidemiologists, clinicians and laboratory technicians in the possibility of finding P. ovale in Malaysia. P. ovale should be considered in the differential diagnosis of imported malaria cases in Malaysia due to the exponential increase in the number of visitors from P. ovale endemic regions and the long latent period of P. ovale. It is also timely that conventional diagnosis of malaria via microscopy should be coupled with more advanced molecular tools for effective diagnosis.Malaria is one of the most deadly parasitic diseases in the world, with an annual infection rate of 500 million cases and more than one million deaths. In Africa, malaria remains the single largest killer among children younger than 5 years of age with a mortality rate of 3,000 children per day. The latest malaria statistics recorded 243 million cases with 863, 000 deaths globally [1]. Currently, malaria can be caused by five Plasmodium species which include Plasmodium falciparum Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae and more recently Plasmodium knowlesi. Infections caused by P. falciparum and P. knowlesi may be fatal while the other species generally cause milder disease. Distribution of P. falciparum and P. vivax are extensively distributed in the tropics and temperate regions of the world. P. malariae is also found in these regions but is less common while cases of P. knowlesi in on the


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