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Malaria and Blood transfusions

AT bugline at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 24 23:16:50 EST 1998

Hi Amber,

Yes, malaria can be transmitted via blood transfusions if the donor blood is
infected. There is a stage where the Plasmodium (the causative organism for
malaria, there are 4 strains that infect humans - P. vivax, P. malariae, P.
ovale, P. falciparum) protozoan replicates in red blood cells.

Merozoites released from ruptured liver cells readily bind to and enter rbcs
(erythrocytes) and eventually forms a trophozoite (commonly appears as a
ring of cytoplasm containing a bulging nucleus). The fully grown parasite
(now called a schizont - no longer ring shaped) undergoes schizogony to form
a number of merozoites which are released from the ruptured rbc. These
merozoites have the ability to infect new rbcs. Typically, merozoites are
released synchronously from parasitized rbcs, accounting for the periodic
symptoms of malaria.

That is why blood donors are normally required to fill out a questionnaire
disclosing information as to whether the said person has been in known
malaria infested areas over the last few months. This is basic screening.

Best regards.

Arnold Tan

amber wrote in message
<911646755.8161.0.nnrp-02.c2dedeeb at news.demon.co.uk>...
>Hi, to whoever can help me.
>I was recently asked a question from my A level students concerning the
>possibility that malaria could be contracted via blood transfusions.  I
>them that my instinct was that it could not, however I would find out for
>them.  I have researched extensively to no avail, so I am now asking 'the
>experts' out there to help me.
>If malaria can be transmitted via transfusions, I would like to know the
>mechanisms and whether or not blood is routinely screened for the
>If it is not transmitted via transfusions I would like to know why not
>are a bright group, I can't put them off!).  I have a good knowledge (I
>thought :-) ) of microbiology, so I would appreciate an in-depth answer.
>            Thanks in advance
>                        Amber.

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