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Parasitol Int. 2007 Mar;56(1):61-4. Epub 2007 Jan 25.

High rate of detection of mixed infections of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum in South-East of Iran, using nested PCR.

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  • 1Department of Parasitology and Mycology, School of Medicine, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran.


Sistan and Baluchestan province, South-East of Iran, has been reported as an endemic area of malaria [Sadrizadeh B. Malaria in the world, in the eastern Mediterranean region and in Iran: Review article. WHO/EMRO Report 2001: 1-13.]. The main objective of this research was to perform rapid and correct diagnoses of malaria infection. Blood specimens were collected from 140 suspected volunteers. The Giemsa-stained slides examination and nested PCR for amplification of the Plasmodium small subunit ribosomal genes (ssrRNA) were utilized. The results demonstrated 118 out of 140 cases (84.3%) positive for malaria parasites, including 60.7%, 20.7% and 2.9% as having Plasmodium vivax (P.v), Plasmodium falciparum (P.f) and mixed infections (P.v+P.f), respectively by microscopy. The nested PCR detected malaria parasites in 134 samples (94.3%), consisting of 51.4% P.v, 12.6% P.f and 29.3% mixed infections. The PCR analysis detected 37 cases of mixed infections more than that of the routine microscopy. These results suggested that there are a considerable number of cases with mixed infections in the study area that mainly remain undiagnosed by microscopy. It is also concluded that the nested PCR is a suitable complement to microscopy for accurate specific diagnosis of malaria species in field.

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