Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian parasite responsible for most human cases of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. A timely recognition of infection is crucial because of the risk of severe disease due to the rapid increase in parasitemia. We report a case of P. knowlesi infection in a traveller who developed fever and thrombocytopenia after returning from the Philippines in 2016. Rapid antigen test was negative, microscopy examination showed parasites similar to Plasmodium malariae, with a parasite count of 10,000 parasites per μL blood, while molecular testing identified P. knowlesi infection. Treatment with atovaquone-proguanil led to resolution of fever and restoration of platelet count in two days. P. knowlesi infection should be suspected in febrile travellers returning from South East Asia. Due to the low sensitivity of rapid antigen tests and the low specificity of microscopy, confirmation by molecular tests is recommended.

Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in a traveller returning from the Philippines to Italy, 2016

Menegotto, Nicola;Masiero, Serena;AKKOUCHE, WASSIM;Biasolo, Maria Angela;Barzon, Luisa
;
Palù, Giorgio
2017

Abstract

Plasmodium knowlesi is a simian parasite responsible for most human cases of malaria in Malaysian Borneo. A timely recognition of infection is crucial because of the risk of severe disease due to the rapid increase in parasitemia. We report a case of P. knowlesi infection in a traveller who developed fever and thrombocytopenia after returning from the Philippines in 2016. Rapid antigen test was negative, microscopy examination showed parasites similar to Plasmodium malariae, with a parasite count of 10,000 parasites per μL blood, while molecular testing identified P. knowlesi infection. Treatment with atovaquone-proguanil led to resolution of fever and restoration of platelet count in two days. P. knowlesi infection should be suspected in febrile travellers returning from South East Asia. Due to the low sensitivity of rapid antigen tests and the low specificity of microscopy, confirmation by molecular tests is recommended.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3252152
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