Plasmodium knowlesi Malaria in Children

Bridget Barber, Timothy William, Mohammad Jikal, Jenarun Jilip, Prabakaran Dhararaj, Jayaram Menon, Tsin Wen Yeo, Nicholas Anstey

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Abstract

Plasmodium knowlesi can cause severe malaria in adults; however, descriptions of clinical disease in children are lacking. We reviewed case records of children (age <15 years) with a malaria diagnosis at Kudat District Hospital, serving a largely deforested area of Sabah, Malaysia, during January-November 2009. Sixteen children with PCRconfi rmed P. knowlesi monoinfection were compared with 14 children with P. falciparum monoinfection diagnosed by microscopy or PCR. Four children with knowlesi malaria had a hemoglobin level at admission of <10.0 g/dL (lowest minimum level 6.4 g/dL). Minimum level platelet counts were lower in knowlesi than in falciparum malaria (median 76,500/?L vs. 156,000/?L; p = 0.01). Most (81%) children with P. knowlesi malaria received chloroquine and primaquine; median parasite clearance time was 2 days (range 1-5 days). P. knowlesi is the most common cause of childhood malaria in Kudat. Although infection is generally uncomplicated, anemia is common and thrombocytopenia universal. Transmission dynamics in this region require additional investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-820
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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