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Medical Term:

Plasmodium malariae


a protozoan species that is the causal agent of quartan malaria; a ring-stage trophozoite is triangular or roughly ovoid, with fine or coarse black granules, approximately one third the size of an eythrocyte; the schizont is oval or rounded and nearly fills the erythrocyte; infected erythrocytes are normal or slightly contracted in size, usually with no stippling (the two most important characteristics that distinguish it from Plasmodium vivax), although extremely fine Ziemann dots may be observed; multiple infection is extremely rare; bouts of fever occur fairly regularly at 72-hour intervals; prolonged asymptomatic parasitemia is characteristic of the species, and recrudescence of fever may occur 10 years or longer after the initial episode.

Synonym(s): quartan parasite

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.