Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Peripheral smear examination is done to diagnose malarial parasite. For making a peripheral smear, a drop of blood is applied to and spread on a glass slide. It is then stained with a special stain and examined under the microscope to identify the different types of malarial parasites. Typically, two thick and two thin smears are prepared. These tests are currently the gold standard for malaria detection and identification. All four variants of malarial parasite i.e. Plasmodium Vivax, Plasmodium Ovale, Plasmodium Malariae, and Plasmodium Falciparum can be identified.
Why is Malarial Parasite Identification done?
If you have signs and symptoms suggestive of malaria like fever with shaking chills, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, profuse sweating, headaches
As a part of fever panel.
What is malaria?
Malaria is a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people by certain types of mosquitoes. Malaria parasites live in red blood cells and can cause fever, headache, vomiting, and convulsions. If left untreated, malaria can lead to severe illness and death. Malaria is especially dangerous in young children and pregnant women. Only Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria parasites. There are four types of malaria parasites, but Plasmodium falciparum causes the most severe infections and is common in many countries in Africa.
How can malaria be treated?
People with malaria can be treated and cured by eliminating malaria parasites in their blood. Before treatment, anyone who is suspected of having malaria should be tested using a parasite-based diagnostic test, either with a rapid diagnostic test or by microscopy. For the treatment of confirmed, uncomplicated malaria caused by P. falciparum, WHO recommends using the drug artemisinin in combination with another drug (artemisinin-based combination therapy [ACT]), which is usually given as a tablet. Proper treatment of people with malaria will reduce transmission of the infection to others, help eliminate the disease, and help prevent the spread of parasites that are resistant to antimalarial drugs.
How can malaria be prevented?
Malaria can be prevented by what is called vector control, preventing mosquitoes from biting. The two most effective ways to prevent malaria are using insecticide-treated bed nets and spraying an insecticide on the interior walls of homes, called indoor residual spraying. Because pregnant women are vulnerable to malaria, in countries with moderate to high malaria transmission, WHO recommends that pregnant women take a preventive treatment referred to as intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp). In certain parts of the world, WHO now recommends that infants and children under 5 years of age take preventive treatment, referred to as intermittent preventive treatment in infants and seasonal malaria chemoprevention, respectively. Travelers can use antimalarials to prevent malaria.
Why are children under 5 at risk of malaria?
In areas where malaria transmission is high, children over 5 years of age usually acquire partial immunity by repeated exposure to the disease. For children under 5 and others who have not acquired immunity or have HIV, malaria infection can cause severe malaria, which can rapidly lead to death. In areas with malaria, children under 5 with a fever should be diagnosed for malaria within 24 hours of onset of a fever and promptly treated if they test positive for malaria.