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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jun;52(11):1356-62. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir180.

Review of cases with the emerging fifth human malaria parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland. anu.kantele@hus.fi

Abstract

Human malaria has been known to be caused by 4 Plasmodium species, with Plasmodium falciparum causing the most-severe disease. Recently, numerous reports have described human malaria caused by a fifth Plasmodium species, Plasmodium knowlesi, which usually infects macaque monkeys. Hundreds of human cases have been reported from Malaysia, several cases have been reported in other Southeast Asian countries, and a few cases have been reported in travelers visiting these areas. Similarly to P. falciparum, P. knowlesi can cause severe and even fatal cases of disease that are more severe than those caused by the other Plasmodium species. Polymerase chain reaction is of value for diagnosis because P. knowlesi infection is easily misdiagnosed as less dangerous Plasmodium malariae infection with conventional microscopy. P. knowlesi infection should be suspected in patients who are infected with malaria in Southeast Asia. If human-mosquito-human transmission were to occur, the disease could spread to new areas where the mosquito vectors live, such as the popular tourist areas in western India.

PMID:
21596677
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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