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Malarial Infection Diagnosis

Case 4

A middle-aged university professor reported to the doctor after a night of profuse sweating (with hot and cold spells), nausea and aches. He had been working hard after returning from a research trip in South America and originally thought the symptoms were based on exhaustion and a diet or junk food as he worked late at the university.

Reviewing his charts, his doctor noted that he hadn't taken a prophylaxis for malaria before leaving on the trip. The professor admitted that he had been rushed before this trip and forgot to take care of it, though he had traveled to South America every summer for 10 years and had no problems with health after returning from other trips.
1. What type of blood test would the doctor order to verify the presence of malaria in this patient?
2. The doctor ordered a consult from a nephrologist. Why?
3. What well-described genetic condition actually helps prevent malarial infection?

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Solution Preview

1. There are several tests that could help diagnose malarial infection. However, the answer you're looking for would probably be a peripheral blood smear to examine the presence of parasite in red blood cells. Typically, two types of blood smears will be prepared: 1. a thick smear, which is made by dropping a blood onto the slide without spreading it then stain with Giemsa stain without fixing the cells. This would lyse all of the red blood cells and allow for more volume of blood to be examined without having the intact cells sitting on top of each other. More volume of blood examined = more chance of ...

Solution Summary

This solution of 392 words discusses malaria diagnosis. complications from malarial infections and diseases with protective effects again malaria. References used are included.