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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Parasitology Case Studies: Protozoa in Blood (by ASCLS). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Plasmodium falciparum Disease

  • Most severe form of malaria
  • Erythrocytes attach to the wall of blood vessels cause complications (severe malaria)
  • Can cause cerebral malaria with high mortality
    • Coma, seizures, neurological impairment
  • Hemoglobinuria, kidney failure, and blackwater fever
  • Acute respiratory arrest, as in this case, due to lack of oxygenation of RBCs and may occur after parasitemia subsides
  • Hyperparasitemia (5% of cells or more infected)