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Arch Hellen Med, 29(1), January-February 2012, 58-60


Plasmodium knowlesi malarial infection in western travelers returning from Southeast Asia.
A summary of the clinical pattern

V. Wiwanitkit
Wiwanitkit House, Bangkhae, Bangkok, Southeast Asia

OBJECTIVE Knowlesi malaria is a new, important and potentially lethal mosquito-borne disease in the tropical countries, caused by infection with Plasmodium knowlesi. Southeast Asia is the region with the highest prevalence of this new malarial infection. This paper describes the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of knowlesi malaria in western travelers returning from Southeast Asia.

METHOD The clinical patterns of knowlesi malarial infection among travelers returning from Southeast Asia were reviewed and analyzed on the basis of the available hospital documents.

RESULTS At least 6 case reports have been published of knowlesi malarial infections in travelers returning from Southeast Asia, of which none was lethal. The characteristic clinical manifestations were a sharp high fever and myalgia.

CONCLUSIONS The clinical pattern of knowlesi malaria infection among western travelers returning from Southeast Asia is similar to that of the general population in the endemic area, but hemorrhagic complications have been less commonly reported. Physicians should be aware of the potentially severe complications.

Key words: Knowlesi malaria, Southeast Asia, Traveler.

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