Transfusion medicine
Transfusion transmitted disease
Malaria and transfusion

Author: Huy Phu Pham, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 31 October 2017, last major update October 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Malaria and transfusion [title] "loattrfree full text"[sb]

Page views in 2018: 30
Page views in 2019 to date: 7
Cite this page: Pham, H.P. Malaria and transfusion. website. Accessed January 22nd, 2019.
Definition / general
  • There are four Plasmodium species that cause malaria in humans: P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale, P. vivax
  • Common transfusion transmitted infection worldwide
  • In U.S., 1,300 new cases of malaria/year but only 1 - 2 cases are due to transfusion
  • Prevention of malaria transmission is through deferral of donors who had malaria in the preceding 3 years and travelers to endemic areas (Vox Sang 2006;90:77)
  • Most donors in transmission cases had traveled to an endemic area; are often "semi-immune" with low parasite loads (Transfus Med Rev 2005;19:229)
  • Risk of transfusion transmitted disease is estimated at 0.25 cases per million transfusions:
    • Usually results from transmission of P. falciparum
    • Symptoms can occur a week to several months after transfusions
    • Rarely fatal
    • May be marked difference in antigen versus antibody rate (Saudi Arabia 0.2% vs. 8%, Ann Saudi Med 2002;22:329)
  • Prevalence in donors (in endemic regions):
  • Case reports