Malarial Parasite Identification
What is Malarial Parasite Identification?
Malaria is a life threatening disease that is typically transmitted through bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Peripheral smear examination is done to diagnose malarial parasite. For making a peripheral smear, a drop of blood is applied to and spread on a glass slide. It is then stained with a special stain and examined under the microscope to identify the different types of malarial parasite. Typically, two thick and two thin smears are prepared. These tests are currently the gold standard for malaria detection and identification. All four variants of malarial parasite i.e. Plasmodium Vivax, Plasmodium Ovale, Plasmodium Malariae and Plasmodium Falciparum can be identified.
Why is Malarial Parasite Identification done?
- If you have signs or symptoms suggestive of malaria like fever with shaking chills, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweating, headache
- As a part of fever panel
Interpreting Malarial Parasite Identification results
- Thick smears are 20 to 40 times more sensitive than thin smears for screening of malarial parasite i.e. whether malarial parasite is present or not
- Thin smears allow for the detection or identification of malaria species
- Four different types of malarial parasite can be identified on the peripheral smear. These include Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium Falciparum, Plasmodium Malariae and Plasmodium ovale
- Three different stages of the parasite can be identified. They include ring forms, schizonts and gametocyte
- The presence of malarial parasite on the smear indicates infection with malaria
- A negative test does not rule out malaria. Repeat tests may have to be done in all doubtful cases.