Taxonomy: f. Plasmodidae
Animal: Plasmodium vivax 2 15.jpg
Sites: Blood
Plasmodium vivax in thin film - note on edge cytoplasm disintegrating. It is best to make the smears from native blood (ie. without anti-coagulant) as anticoagulant can distort the parasites as can anti-malarial medication -- it is best to take a sample prior to commencing presumptive treatment. Parasite appearance can also be affected by the patient's immune response. Displacement of the parasite can also occur during spreading of the blood. Further examination to find more characteristic forms of the parasite was necessary before a diagnosis could be made for this patient. The best chance to detect parasites is several hours after the height of the paroxysm. Thorough examination of thick and thin films (at least 100 fields) are essential before ruling out a malaria infection and final diagnosis should be based on the examination of the thin films based on the observation of different forms of the parasite. Repeat blood collections may be necessary over a 36 hour period to confirm diagnosis. Accurate species identification is essential for correct treatment to be administered. (See parasitology textbooks such as Garcia and Bruckner 1997 for details)

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