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Open Access Open Badges 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


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.

Plasmodium ovale; Severe; Malaria; Infection