Peripheral Smear for Malaria
What is Peripheral Smear for Malaria?
Peripheral smear for malaria is done to detect the presence of malarial parasites in the blood. Malaria is an infectious disease that is caused by species of the Plasmodium parasite. This test is usually done to diagnose malaria and to monitor the treatment of malaria.
This is the most simple and accurate test for studying malarial parasites. It is a microscopic test where the peripheral blood smear provides comprehensive information on the species, stages, and density of parasitemia. Usually, thick smears help in detecting the presence of parasites while thin smears help to detect the different species of parasites.
Malaria can often be prevented by the use of protection measures against mosquitoes bites which includes use of mosquito repellants, spraying insecticides and wearing long-sleeved clothes.
Why is Peripheral Smear for Malaria done?
To diagnose malaria
To monitor the treatment of malaria
What does Peripheral Smear for Malaria Measure?
Peripheral smear for Malaria is done to detect the presence of the malarial parasite in the blood. It is also used to monitor the treatment of malaria. Once the treatment of malaria is started, the doctor may advise re-test to monitor the treatment. A drop of blood is spread thinly on the glass slide and then studied under a microscope to examine the blood cells. The diagnosis is made by spotting out the parasite of malaria or its antigens or its products in the smear. Thick smears help to detect the presence of parasite while thin smears help to detect the type of species of parasite. Thin smears help in evaluating the presence of schizonts (stage of the malarial parasite with the presence of many small nuclei), gametocytes (stage of malarial parasite where it can produce more gametes) and presence of any pigmentation due to the malarial parasite in the blood.
Interpreting Peripheral Smear for Malaria results
Positive results indicate the presence of the malarial parasite in peripheral blood examination.
Negative results indicate that no malarial parasite is seen on peripheral blood examination.