Volume 97, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Blackwater fever is a massive hemolytic event usually occurring in the context of repeated falciparum malaria infections and intermittent quinine use. Its etiology is poorly understood, and it is rarely seen today. Historical epidemiological observations from the 20th century demonstrated variable patterns in prisoners in Andaman Islands, refugees in Macedonia, canal workers in Panama, expatriates in Rhodesia, and Second World War soldiers. Rates of blackwater fever per 1,000 malaria cases varied over two orders of magnitude. Islands, such as the Andaman Islands and New Guinea, had lower blackwater fever rates than continental areas. During the Second World War, blackwater fever rates in British soldiers in West Africa and Australian soldiers in New Guinea differed by a factor of 40 despite similar treatment regimens and falciparum malaria transmission risks. Blackwater fever is a complex interaction between host erythrocyte, falciparum malaria, and antimalarial drugs which remains poorly understood.


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  • Received : 05 Jul 2017
  • Accepted : 18 Jul 2017
  • Published online : 02 Oct 2017

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