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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Feb;100(2):275-279. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.18-0005.

Malaria Severity in Mangaluru City in the Southwestern Coastal Region of India.

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Department of Biochemistry, Kuvempu University, Shankaraghatta, India.
Department of Biochemistry, K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, NITTE University, Mangaluru, India.
Department of Biological Control, National Institute of Malaria Research, Poojanahalli, India.
Light House Polyclinic, Mangaluru, India.
Department of Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, India.
Wenlock District Hospital, Mangaluru, India.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania.


Dakshina Kannada district in the Southwestern region of Karnataka state, India, including Mangaluru city is endemic to malaria. About 80% of malaria infections in Mangaluru and its surrounding areas are caused by Plasmodium vivax and the remainder is due to Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria-associated clinical complications significantly occur in this region. Here, we report the pathological conditions of 41 cases of fatal severe malaria, admitted to the district government hospital in Mangaluru city during January 2013 through December 2016. The results of clinical, hematological, and biochemical analyses showed that most of these severe malaria cases were associated with thrombocytopenia, anemia, metabolic acidosis, acute respiratory distress, and single or multi-organ dysfunction involving liver, kidney, and brain. Of the 41 fatal malaria cases, 24, 10, and seven patients had P. vivax, P. falciparum, and P. vivax and P. falciparum mixed infections, respectively. These data suggest that besides P. falciparum that is known to extensively cause severe and fatal malaria illnesses, P. vivax causes fatal illnesses substantially in this region, an observation that is consistent with recent findings in other regions.

[Available on 2020-02-01]

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