Issue: 2013 > October > case report

Plasmodium falciparum malaria recrudescence occurring 2.5 years after leaving an endemic country

M.A.H. Berrevoets, T. Sprong, J.F. Meis, A.S.M. Dofferhoff


Malaria tropica is almost exclusively diagnosed within two months after returning from an endemic country. We present here a male patient with severe P. falciparum malaria diagnosed 2.5 years after returning
from Burkina-Faso. We speculate that our patient was
chronically infected with PF malaria for more than 2 years, with an undetectable parasite index and without
symptoms. Because of waning immunity clinically overt
PF malaria was able to develop. This case illustrates the
importance of malaria suspicion as a cause of illness in
immigrants from malaria-endemic countries. Even when
these immigrants did not travel for a long time, malaria
should be considered in patients with typical symptoms.