Case Report

Eurasian J Med 2014; 46: 50-2

Plasmodium Vivax Infection Impersonating Plasmodium Falciparum Malaria Plasmodium Falciparum Sıtmayı Taklit Eden Plasmodium Vivax Enfeksiyonu Sweta Kakaraparthi1, Raghunath Prabhu2 Department of Internal Medicine, St. Josephs Mercy Hospital, Michigan, USA Department of General Surgery, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India

1 2



A 73-year-old woman came to the casualty ward with symptoms of syncopal attacks, weakness, fever with chills and rigors. A provisional diagnosis of Plasmodium vivax malaria was made after the blood investigations. She had deranged renal function tests, altered sensorium and low platelet count. Repeated tests for P. falciparum (Card test) were negative. Glucose-6-Phosphate dehydrogenise (G6PD) levels were within normal limits. Treatment for P. vivax was started with intravenous quinine initially followed by oral quinine for a period of seven days and patient responded to the treatment and was discharged within 2 weeks of admission. Most of the cases of P. vivax present with typical and predictable features, although atypical cases with characteristics of P. falciparum can occur, especially in the elderly.

Yetmiş üç yaşındaki kadın hasta bayılma atakları, halsizlik, üşüme ve titreme, ateş belirtileri ile acil servise başvurdu. Plasmodium vivax sıtması geçici tanısı için kan tetkikleri yapıldı. Böbrek fonksiyon testleri, dengesiz Sensorium ve düşük trombosit sayısı mevcuttu. P. falciparum (Card testi) tekrarlandı, testleri negatif bulundu. Glukoz6-fosfat dehidrogenaz (G6PD) düzeyleri normal sınırlarda idi. P. vivax tedavisi ilk yedi günlük bir süre için damar içi kinin ile başlatılmış, ardından ağızdan kininle devam edilmiştir. Hasta tedaviye cevap vermiş ve müracat sonrası iki hafta icinde taburcu edilmiştir. Çoğu P. vivax olgusu, tipik ve öngörülebilir özelliklere sahip olmasına rağmen atipik olgular özellikle yaşlılarda ve P. falcifarum karaktetiyle ortaya çıkar.

Key Words: Complications, malaria vivax, malaria falciparum, India

Introduction Malaria infection is endemic in many regions of India. Massive numbers of malaria cases are reported every year. The common species being reported are Plasmodium vivax (Pv) and Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) with Plasmodium vivax accountable for more number of cases (60-65%) compared to the latter (35-40%) [1]. Among those infected with P. Vivax, most present with typical and predictable features. However, there are atypical cases where the infection presents with characteristics suggestive of P. falciparum. Cerebral malaria, renal failure and thrombocytopenia are known to be associated with severe and complicated falciparum malaria. Generally, these complications if present with P. vivax malaria are attributed to mixed infection by both the species [2]. Rarely, these complications can also be seen with only P. vivax infection [3]. We report one such case of Plasmodium vivax malaria in an adult female presenting predominantly with cerebral, renal and haematological complications.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Komplikasyonlar, sıtma vivax, sıtma falciparum, Hindistan

Case Report A 73-year-old woman was admitted in critical state with a history of syncopal attack four days earlier, following which she complained of weakness and fever with chills and rigors for one day. On examination, her blood pressure was 110/80 mmHg. Capillary glucose levels were within normal limits. Neurological examination revealed altered sensorium with a Glasgow Coma Scale rating of 10 with no focal deficit and meningeal signs. Abdominal examination revealed hepatosplenomegaly. Haematological parameters showed Haemoglobin of 11 g/dL, Total Leucocyte count (TLC) was 2600 per and platelet count was 32.000 per Peripheral smear reported anisopoikilocytosis with few microcytes, toxic changes and mild left shift of neutrophils with cytoplasmic vacuolation, bands and metamyelocytes and ring forms and schizonts of P. vivax. Test for P. falciparum (Card test) was negative on several occasions. Glucose-6Phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) levels were normal. Renal function tests were deranged i.e. urea (120 mg/dL) and

Received: February 4, 2013 / Accepted: June 5, 2013 Correspondence to: Raghunath Prabhu, Department of General Surgery, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India Phone: +91 944 890 38 17 e-mail: [email protected] ©Copyright 2014 by the Atatürk University School of Medicine - Available online at doi:10.5152/eajm.2014.09

Eurasian J Med 2014; 46: 50-2

creatinine (2.1 mg/dL) along with hypokalemia (2.7 mEq/l). Serum sodium levels were within normal limits. Liver enzymes were grossly normal. She was treated with intravenous quinine initially followed by oral quinine for a period of seven days. Her haematological and biochemical parameters came within normal range. She was discharged in a clinically stable condition and was advised to take a 14 day course of primaquine.

Discussion Plasmodium vivax in its typical course presents with regular paroxysms of fever associated with chills and rigors, headache, fatigue and muscle aches, whereas P. falciparum along with the typical febrile response and “viral syndrome” is known to present with potentially fatal complications. Severe P. falciparum malaria has been known to produce several complications such as cerebral malaria, thrombocytopenia, renal failure, anaemia and others. Though being more commonly seen in P. falciparum malaria, P. vivax infection is rarely associated with all the above mentioned complications [3-10]. Kochar et al. [3] in their study of 1,091 malaria patients reported the incidence of renal failure in 45%, anaemia in 32.5%, and cerebral malaria in 12.5% and thrombocytopenia in 12.5% of the total number of patients diagnosed with P. vivax presenting with severe complications. Diagnosing malaria in this modern era is no challenge to any medical professional. The definitive diagnosis of malaria generally requires direct visualization of the malaria parasite in Giemsa-stained thick and thin blood smears, which have been the gold standard for many years in laboratories all over the world to identify infection by any of the four malaria species. Though the sensitivity of the diagnosis of malaria by microscopic identification is high (98%), a study done by Parija et al. [11] showed that the species specific thin smear carries a sensitivity of 54.8%, while tests like Histidine-rich protein 2 of P. Falciparum (PfHRP2) dipstick or Plasmodium Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) dipstick, which are increasingly being employed in day to day practice to detect individual species due to the emergence of unusual presentations seen with P. vivax in the recent years reported a sensitivity of 92.3%. The major disadvantage of employing Antigen tests on a routine basis is the variability in the sensitivity (97%-59%) in diagnosing malaria¸ which depends on the parasite levels of the blood. In addition to newer rapid diagnostic tests like ParaSight-F, Immunochromatographic (ICT) Pf and ICT Pf/Pv, molecular techniques such as real time polymerase chain reaction with a sensitivity and specificity of 100% and nucleic acid sequence-based amplification can also aid in the diagnosis, however these tests are cumbersome and expensive especially in developing countries. Over the past few decades we have come across a large number of P. vivax malaria cases which can be easily diagnosed

Kakaraparthi and Prabhu. Malaria infection


with a complete and detailed history and routine peripheral blood picture report. Lately, cases have been identified of P. vivax infection with complications which were earlier attributed to P. falciparum malaria. The exact reason for this has not been clearly identified [7]. The diagnosis of these cases becomes a challenge for the medical practitioner because there may be a mixed infection by both P. vivax and P. falciparum species with P. falciparum not visible in routine peripheral smear and antigen detection tests (if the parasite levels are low) making the diagnosis and treatment offered indecisive. Management of P. vivax and P. falciparum malaria differs in view of the emerging resistance to chloroquine observed in P. vivax and P. falciparum over years. Although there have been reports of Chloroquine resistance in P. vivax in India, Southern Asia and Brazil, the drug of choice for treating P. vivax in India over the last decade remained Chloroquine as the majority were found sensitive to chloroquine. Being uncomplicated most often, vivax infection is treated with the standard three day chloroquine course followed by primaquine whilst artesunate has replaced chloroquine as the first line drug to combat chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria. In view of this resistance being increasingly reported in P. vivax malaria in recent years, it becomes essential to resort to therapy with quinine or artemins as sulphadoxine with pyrimethamine course is not effective in P. vivax treatment. Ergo in severe complicated malaria and resistant cases it becomes necessary to start the patient on either quinine or artesunate without a further delay. In the coming years, this type of odd presentations may become more frequent and may even present with various atypical presentations and complications. Routine tests also should include rapid diagnostic tests and Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect isolated P. vivax infections vs. mixed infections, as the card test alone will lead to underestimating and missing of mixed infections. Early suspicion, along with aggressive supportive treatment, may be life-saving in these types of odd presentations. Severe vivax malaria should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with fever and multi-organ dysfunction syndromes. Conflict of Interest: No conflict of interest was declared by the authors. Peer-review: Externally peer-reviewed. Informed Consent: Written informed consent was obtained from patients who participated in this case. Author Contributions: Concept - S.K.; Design - S.K., R.P.; Supervision - R.P.; Funding - S.K., R.P.; Materials - S.K., R.P.; Data Collection and/or Processing - S.K., R.P.; Analysis and/or Interpretation - S.K., R.P.; Literature Review - S.K.; Writer - S.K.; Critical Review - R.P. Financial Disclosure: The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.


Kakaraparthi and Prabhu. Malaria infection

Eurasian J Med 2014; 46: 50-2

References 1.

Singh V, Mishra N, Awasthi G, Dash AP, Das A. Why is it important to study malaria epidemiology in India? Trends Parasitol 2009; 25: 452-7. [CrossRef] 2. White NJ. Malaria. In: Cook GC, Zumla AI, eds. Manson’s Tropical Diseases. 21st Edn. Elsevier Saunders, London, 2002; pp.120578. 3. Kochar DK, Das A, Kochar SK. Severe Plasmodium vivax malaria: a report on serial cases from Bikaner in northwestern India. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2009; 80; 194-8. 4. Harish R, Gupta S. Plasmodium vivax malaria presenting with severe thrombocytopenia, cerebral complications and hydrocephalus. Indian J Pediatr 2009; 76: 551-2. [CrossRef] 5. Sarkar S, Bhattacharya P. Cerebral malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax in adult subjects. Indian J Crit Care Med 2008; 12: 204-5. [CrossRef] 6. Genton B, D’Acremont V, Rare L, et al. Plasmodium vivax and mixed infections are associated with severe malaria in children:






a prospective cohort study from Papua New Guinea. PLoS Med 2008; 5:e127. [CrossRef] Kaushik R, Kaushik RM, Kakkar R, Sharma A, Chandra H. Plasmodium vivax malaria complicated by acute kidney injury: experience at a referral hospital in Uttarakhand, India. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 2013; 107: 188-94. [CrossRef] Taylor WR, Canon V, White NJ. Pulmonary manifestations of malaria: recognition and management. Treat Respir Med 2006; 5: 419-28. [CrossRef] Kaur D, Wasir V, Gulati S, Bagga A. Unusual presentation of Plasmodium vivax malaria with severe thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. J Trop Pediatr 2007; 53: 210-2. [CrossRef] Kumar S, Melzer M, Dodds P, Watson J, Ord R. P. Vivax malaria complicated by shock and ARDS. Scand J Infect Dis 2007; 39: 255-6. [CrossRef] Parija SC, Dhodapkar R, Elangovan S, Chaya DR. Chaya, A comparative study of blood smear, QBC and antigen detection for diagnosis of malaria. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2009; 52: 200-2. [CrossRef]

Copyright of Eurasian Journal of Medicine is the property of Aves Yayincilik Ltd. STI and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.

Plasmodium vivax infection impersonating Plasmodium falciparum malaria.

Yetmiş üç yaşındaki kadın hasta bayılma atakları, halsizlik, üşüme ve titreme, ateş belirtileri ile acil servise başvurdu. Plasmodium vivax sıtması ge...
81KB Sizes 0 Downloads 16 Views