Transfusion medicine
Transfusion transmitted disease
Malaria and transfusion

Topic Completed: 1 October 2011

Revised: 8 April 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

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

Huy Phu Pham, M.D., M.P.H.
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Cite this page: Pham HP Malaria and transfusion. website. Accessed June 20th, 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
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