A Retrospective Examination of the Patterns of Recrudescence in Patients Infected with Plasmodium Falciparum

William E. Collins Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

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Geoffrey M. Jeffery Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

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A retrospective examination was made to determine median intervals between recrudescences of Plasmodium falciparum in 343 neurosyphilitic patients who were given malariatherapy, which was routine care at that time. Data were collected at the National Institutes of Health laboratories in Columbia, South Carolina and Milledgeville, Georgia during the period 1940 to 1963. The geometric mean days of peak parasite count for the patients were 8, 26.5, 43.5, 62, 78.5, and 95.5 days, respectively. The intervals between these peaks of 18.5, 17, 18.5, 16.5, and 17 days suggest a fixed time frame for the appearance of different dominant parasite populations during the first 100 days of patent infection. When the data from these same patients were examined for mean peak parasite counts, the patterns indicated a consistent decrease in parasite count suggestive of increasing immunity, which was sufficient to reduce but not eliminate subsequent parasite populations. The geometric mean peak parasite counts for the 343 patients during the primary attack and the first 5 recrudescences were 40,350, 6,975, 5,090, 3,820, 3,455, and 2,375/μl, respectively.

Author Notes

Authors' addresses: William E. Collins, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop F-12, 4770 Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA 30341-3724. Geoffrey M. Jeffery (Public Health S ervice, retired), 1093 Blackshear Drive, Decatur, Ga 30033.

  • 1.

    Collins WE, Jeffery GM, 1999. A retrospective examination of sporozoite- and trophozoite-induced infections with Plasmodium falciparum: development of parasitologic and clinical immunity during primary infection.. Am J Trop Med Hyg 61: (suppl): 419.

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  • 2.

    Collins WE, Jeffery GM, 1999. A retrospective examination of secondary sporozoite- and trophozoite-induced infections with Plasmodium falciparum: development of parasitologic and clinical immunity following secondary infection. Am J Trap Med Hyg 61: (suppl): 2035.

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  • 3.

    Collins WE, Jeffery GM, 1999. A retrospective examination of sporozoite- and trophozoite-induced infections with Plasmodium falciparum in patients previously infected with heterologous species of Plasmodium: effect on development of parasitologic and clinical immunity. Am J Trap Med Hyg 61: (suppl): 3643.

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    Mayne B, Young MD, 1941. A technique of induced malaria as used in the South Carolina State Hospital. Venereal Dis Information 22: 271276.

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