Parasite Examination, Blood
Establish the diagnosis of Plasmodium or other parasitic infection; diagnose malarial parasitic infestation of blood; evaluate febrile disease of unknown origin.
Release of trophozoites and RBC debris results in a febrile response. Periodicity of fever correlates with type of malaria (see table). Organisms are most likely to be detected just before onset of fever, which is predictable in many cases. Sampling immediately upon onset of fever is the most desirable time to obtain blood. Alternatively, in cases negative by these means but with a strong clinical history, multiple sampling at different times in the fever cycle may prove successful.
Smears made from fresh whole capillary (fingerstick) blood and/or capillary blood in EDTA (Microtainer™), or 3 to 5 mL fresh whole venous blood in EDTA.
Films (two thin and two thick) or 3 to 5 mL fresh whole venous blood in EDTA.
Glass slide, lavender-top (EDTA) tube.
Prepare sterile venipuncture site.
Maintain EDTA whole blood specimen at room temperature for no longer than 24 to 48 hours.
Specimen clotted; improper labeling.