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February 1991

Epidemiologic Notes and Reports: Imported Malaria Associated with Malariotherapy of Lyme Disease—New Jersey

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(2):161. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680020017001

In November 1990, a physician in New Jersey reported two cases of imported vivax malaria to the New Jersey State Department of Health. Both of these patients were among five patients who had been diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease and referred by the physician to sources in Mexico for intramuscular injections of blood containing Plasmodium vivax parasites. The malaria donors reportedly had been screened for serologic evidence of syphilis, hepatitis B, and human immunodeficiency virus infection. On return to New Jersey, the two patients were diagnosed with parasitemia 3 days and 14 days after the injection, respectively. Approximately 3 weeks after onset of malaria, the patients were treated with chloroquine with satisfactory response.

Reported by:  K Mertz, MD, KC Spitalny, MD, State Epidemiologist, New Jersey State Dept of Health. Bacterial Zoonoses Br, Div of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases and Malaria Br, Div of Parasitic Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC (MMWR