Congenital Malaria in Chicago

A Case Report and A Review of Published Reports (U.S.A.)

Russell M. McQuayThe Dr. Israel Davidsohn Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

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Simone SilbermanThe Dr. Israel Davidsohn Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

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Pola MudrikThe Dr. Israel Davidsohn Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

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L. E. KeithThe Dr. Israel Davidsohn Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois

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Summary

Blood studies were done in a 2½-month-old female, her mother, father, and paternal aunt. Numerous P. malariae organisms were detected in the child and very scanty parasites of the same species in the mother, but none in the others. The baby was born to Filipino parents who had resided within three blocks of the hospital for 3 years. FA tests for malaria showed high titers to P. malariae antigens for the mother and baby only. No placental studies could be made, but the delivery was uneventful, and the placenta was grossly normal. Attention was drawn to this case because of the baby's anemia and febrile episodes; however, there was no suspicion of malaria. Both the baby and mother were followed subsequently with several blood-smear examinations.

Transmission by mosquito appears to have been ruled out in this case. Epidemiologic studies support the thesis that this is a case of malaria acquired through congenital transmission. An extensive review of reports of all cases of congenital malaria in the United States is presented. This case has several noteworthy features: it is the first case reported in Chicago; the first case of congenital malaria in which immunologic studies have been reported; and moreover, strengthens the contention that occult malaria in the mother may still result in the transmission of the disease to the child.

Author Notes

Chief, Division of Parasitology.

Assistant Clinical Pathologist.

Chief Hematology Technologist.

Pediatrician, Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center, and Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, Chicago, Illinois.

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