• Masako Shimamura
Part of the Infectious Disease book series (ID)


Malaria is a global parasitic disease caused by four species of Plasmodium: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae. Approximately 40% of the world’s population live in malaria-endemic areas, and an estimated 300-500 million cases occur annually. The majority of deaths occur in infants and children (WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases Web site: Progress in the diagnosis and treatment of malaria has been hampered by its prevalence mainly in impoverished areas of the world, limiting patient access to health care and funds for research. Malaria was eradicated in the United States during the 1950s via a combination of mosquito control programs and aggressive antimalarial treatment of infected individuals (1). However, cases in the United States continue to be reported annually. Most cases are described in recent immigrants, but rarely cases occur through blood transfusions, congenital transmission, or cryptic transmission in patients without identifiable exposure to malaria (2).


Plasmodium Falciparum Plasmodium Species Placental Malaria Dipstick Test Thin Smear 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masako Shimamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of PediatricsUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirmingham

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