Malarial Parasite Identification
Understanding Malarial Parasite Identification
What is Malarial Parasite Identification?
A Malarial Parasite Identification test confirms the presence or absence of malarial parasites in the body, identifies the parasite species involved, and the extent of infection. This test is done via microscopic examination and is the standard method recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) for malaria testing.
Malaria is an acute febrile illness caused by Plasmodium parasites that spreads to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Common symptoms of malaria include chills, fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, etc. Usually, the symptoms appear within 10 to 15 days of being bitten by an infected mosquito. However, rarely, they may appear as early as 7 days or as late as months after the exposure. Malaria is both preventable and curable, but it may become life-threatening if left untreated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends prompt diagnosis for anyone who has symptoms of malaria fever or has recently traveled to an area where malaria is common. Diagnostic testing helps with early diagnosis and enables healthcare providers to differentiate malarial fever from other non-malarial fevers, facilitating appropriate treatment.
A positive Malarial Parasite Identification test result indicates the presence of the malarial parasite, whereas a negative test result in the presence of symptoms requires repeat testing in the next 12-24 hrs as the number of parasites in the bloodstream may vary. Your doctor may also advise this test to monitor the treatment efficacy. Furthermore, after treatment completion, this test may also help check recurrence.
Usually, no special preparation is required for this test; you may eat and drink as per your daily routine. A trained phlebotomist will take the blood sample from a vein in your arm using a small needle. Talk to the doctor about your specific Malarial Parasite Identification test results. Narrate your complete medical history to help them correlate your clinical and laboratory findings.
What is Malarial Parasite Identification used for?
A Malarial Parasite Identification test is done:
If you have recently traveled to a place where malaria is common.
If you have symptoms of suspected malaria like fever with chills, headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, profuse sweating, etc.
As a part of the fever panel (Fever Package, Fever Package Basic, Fever Package Advance) to distinguish between malarial and non-malarial fever.
If you are at high risk. Those at high–risk include young children, pregnant women, people over 65 years, those with a weak immune system, and those who do not have a spleen (or have undergone splenectomy, the surgical removal of the spleen).
What does Malarial Parasite Identification measure?
A Malarial Parasite Identification test is the standard test to diagnose malaria via microscopic examination of the blood sample of anyone with suspected malaria. A blood smear is prepared and then stained with Giemsa stain. This staining gives the malaria parasite a distinctive appearance under a microscope. The diagnosis is made by spotting the malaria parasite, its antigens, or its products in the smear. Thick smears help detect the presence of parasites while thin smears help detect the species of parasite.
Interpreting Malarial Parasite Identification results
Positive results indicate the presence of malarial parasites in peripheral blood examination.
Negative results indicate that no malarial parasite is seen on peripheral blood examination.
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Malarial Parasite Identification
Frequently Asked Questions about Malarial Parasite Identification
Q. How does malaria spread?
Q. What are the symptoms of malaria?
Q. What are the different diagnostic tests for malaria?
Q. When can a malaria test be advised?
Q. What are the different names of a malaria test?
Q. Do negative test results of a Malarial Parasite Identification test mean that malaria is not there?
Q. How does a malaria test kit or malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) work?
Q. Are malaria and dengue the same thing?
Q. How can I recover from malaria?
Book Malarial Parasite Identification at-home
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- Malaria Diagnosis (United States) [Internet]. CDC; 23 Jul. 2018 [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/diagnosis_treatment/diagnosis.html#:~:text=Malaria%20parasites%20can%20be%20identified
- Tangpukdee N, Duangdee C, Wilairatana P, Krudsood S. Malaria diagnosis: a brief review. Korean J Parasitol. 2009;47(2):93-102. [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2688806/
- Malaria [Internet]. WHO; 27 Mar. 2023 [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/malaria?gclid=CjwKCAjwzuqgBhAcEiwAdj5dRnFsXR00IMYkBmAeIqUFBRTtNSUsU1IfvQY0NS1mhsWV_R0t-hEimhoCGxIQAvD_BwE
- Malaria [Internet]. CDC; 22 Mar. 2022 [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/disease.html
- Malaria [Internet]. NHS; 18 Feb. 2022 [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/malaria/