Volume 98, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Emerging evidence indicates that migrants from endemic regions are at risk of delayed presentation of malaria. We report three cases of malaria occurring years after arrival in Europe. All patients were originally from Sub-Saharan Africa. Two subjects had controlled human immunodeficiency virus infection and one was a pregnant woman. We performed a literature review of all published cases of delayed presentation of in migrants and identified 32 additional cases. All cases but one originate from sub-Saharan Africa. There was a median time of 36 months between the last visit to a malaria-endemic country and clinical malaria (range: 3 months to 10 years). Pregnancy was the most frequently reported risk factor (11/35 or 31.4%). Parasitemia was ≤ 0.1% in 38% of cases (11/29 reported), and no death was reported. The underlying possible mechanisms for this delayed presentation in migrants from an endemic area probably include the persistence of submicroscopic parasitemia combined with decaying –specific immunity. Suspicion of delayed malaria should remain high in migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, even without a recent travel history, especially in those presenting risk factors for impaired parasite clearance or distinct immune responses such as pregnancy and HIV infection. In these patients, new prevention and screening strategies should be studied and blood safety policies adapted.


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  • Received : 24 May 2017
  • Accepted : 20 Dec 2017
  • Published online : 26 Feb 2018

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