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Open Access Case report

Plasmodium ovale: a case of not-so-benign tertian malaria

Kathy-Anne Strydom1*, Farzana Ismail1 and John Frean23

Author Affiliations

1 National Health Laboratory Services, Tshwane Academic Division, Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

2 Centre for Opportunistic, Tropical and Hospital Infections, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa

3 Wits Research Institute for Malaria, School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Malaria Journal 2014, 13:85  doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-85

Published: 10 March 2014

Abstract

Severe malaria is most commonly associated with Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodium vivax is increasingly recognized as being capable of causing severe disease. In contrast, Plasmodium ovale is considered as a cause of benign disease and evidence supporting the occurrence of severe or complicated ovale infection is rare. This report describes a case of severe P. ovale infection in a patient presenting with jaundice, respiratory distress, severe thrombocytopenia, petechiae, and hypotension. He had no apparent underlying risk factors for severe disease.

Keywords:
Plasmodium ovale; Severe; Malaria; Infection