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November 17, 1978

Malaria Transmission by Platelet Concentrate Transfusion

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Drs Garfield, Ershler, and Maki) and the Infection Control Unit (Dr Maki), University Hospitals, Center for Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

JAMA. 1978;240(21):2285-2286. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290210067033

MALARIA is a well-recognized complication of transfusion therapy that is being encountered with increasing frequency in nonmalarious areas of the world.1 Most cases have derived from administration of infected whole blood or packed RBCs,1-3 but reports have also implicated leukocyte concentrates4 and even fresh plasma.5-7 Platelet concentrates have been ascribed as the source of one case of transfusion malaria8; however, neither confirmatory data nor clinical details were provided. We report a well-documented case of Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmitted by platelet concentrate transfusion.

Report of a Case  A 57-year-old woman with acute myelomonocytic leukemia was readmitted to the hospital on June 27, 1977, in leukemic relapse. Between December 1976 and June 1977, she had received no blood products and she had never traveled outside the United States. Physical findings were unremarkable except for pallor, and she was afebrile. The hematocrit level was 32%; the WBC count, 7,100/cu