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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Infectious Diseases 1/2018

Plasmodium knowlesi infection in a returning German traveller from Thailand: a case report on an emerging malaria pathogen in a popular low-risk travel destination

Zeitschrift:
BMC Infectious Diseases > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Guenter Froeschl, Marcus Beissner, Kristina Huber, Gisela Bretzel, Michael Hoelscher, Camilla Rothe

Abstract

Background

Thailand is a major destination for German travellers with more than 760,000 arrivals in 2015. At the same time, malaria is a concern in travel recommendations with regard to this destination. The World Malaria Report of 2016 mentions only P. falciparum and P. vivax as prevalent species for Thailand, however, P. knowlesi infections have been occasionally reported in Thailand. In German travellers, only five cases of P. knowlesi infections have been reported to date.

Case presentation

A 45-year-old German male tourist travelled to Thailand from 25 December 2016 to 13 January 2017. On 14 January he developed fever with no other symptoms, and presented on 17 January at the Division for Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases in Munich, Germany.
Malaria was diagnosed, primarily based on a single parasite in the thin smear microscopy, while commercial rapid diagnostic testing remained negative. Only the result of a differential PCR assay revealed P. knowlesi infection.

Conclusions

P. knowlesi has to be considered in travellers returning from Thailand. Cases may present with an extremely low parasitaemia. This is in contrast to the assumption that P. knowlesi was likely to cause high parasitaemia due to its short replication cycle.
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