Asymptomatic carriers of Plasmodium parasites hamper malaria control and eradication. Achieving malaria eradication requires ultrasensitive diagnostics for low parasite density infections (<100 parasites per microliter blood) that work in resource-limited settings (RLS). Sensitive point-of-care diagnostics are also lacking for nonfalciparum malaria, which is characterized by lower density infections and may require additional therapy for radical cure.
Plasmodium ovale is an understudied malaria species prevalent throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. Little is known about the distribution of ovale malaria and risk factors associated with infection in areas of high malaria endemicity.
We report two cases of malaria diagnosed in Rhode Island. First, a 21-year-old female who presented with 5 days of fevers, chills, headache, and myalgias after returning from a trip to Liberia, found to have uncomplicated malaria due to P. ovale which was treated successfully with atovaquone/proguanil and primaquine.
In clinical practice, mixed-species malaria infections are often not detected by light microscopy (LM) or rapid diagnostic test, as a low number of parasites of one species may occur. Here, we report the case of an 8-year-old girl migrating with her family from Afghanistan with a two-species mixed infection with Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium ovale.