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A Case of Quadruple Malaria Infection Imported from Mozambique to Japan

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  • Department of Internal Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine, and Department of Infectious Diseases, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan; Clinical Laboratory Center, Tokai University Hospital, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan; Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

A 35-year-old Japanese man had an intermittent fever and mild headache for eight weeks after he returned to Japan from working in Mozambique. He had taken antimalarial prophylaxis (doxycycline) for 25 weeks, and stopped taking this drug two weeks after his return. Microscopic examination of a peripheral blood smear showed a mixed infection with Plasmodium vivax, P. falciparum, and P. ovale. In addition, a nested polymerase chain reaction and subsequent sequencing detected specific DNA sequences of four species of Plasmodium, including P. malariae. The patient was successfully treated with artemether-lumefantrine and primaquine phosphate. The present case is a rare instance of a mixed infection with four species of Plasmodium. Nonimmune persons in malaria-endemic areas may have a risk of mixed infection. All four species must be identified by using sensitive and specific tests, such as a nested polymerase chain reaction, in addition to conventional morphologic identification.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Satomi Asai, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan. E-mail: sa@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp

Financial support: This study was supported by a grant for Research on Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan (H23-Shinko-Ippan-014 and H25-Shinko-Shitei-002).

Authors' addresses: Masayuki Oki and Taira Nakayama, Department of Internal Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, 259-1193, Japan, E-mails: okidoki@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp and taira_nakayama@hotmail.com. Satomi Asai and Hayato Miyachi, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, 259-1193, Japan, E-mails: sa@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp and miyachi@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp. Yumiko Saito-Nakano, Hiroshi Ohmae, and Tomoyoshi Nozaki, Department of Parasitology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8640, Japan, E-mails: yumiko@nih.go.jp, h-ohmae@nih.go.jp, and nozaki@nih.go.jp. Yumiko Tanaka, Clinical Laboratory Center, Tokai University Hospital, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, 259-1193, Japan, E-mail: uitra@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp. Hiroshi Tachibana, Department of Infectious Diseases, Tokai University School of Medicine, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, 259-1193, Japan, E-mail: htachiba@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp.

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