Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in children

Bridget Barber, Timothy William, Mohammad Jikal, Jenarun Jelip, Prabakaran Dhararaj, Jayaram Menon, Tsin 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/μL vs. 156,000/μL; 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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    Barber, B., William, T., Jikal, M., Jelip, J., Dhararaj, P., Menon, J., Yeo, T., & Anstey, N. (2011). Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in children. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 17(5), 814-820. https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1705.101489