India's first case of quadruple malaria reported in Chhattisgarh
India's first case of quadruple malaria - presence of four types of Plasmodium parasite in a single patient - has been detected in a 12-year-old tribal kid in the Bastar forest of Chhattisgarh.
It's not known whether the boy survived the infection as he left the hospital, against medical advice, without completing the treatment. Follow-up was not possible because of the inaccessibility to the area from where he came.
Nevertheless, the discovery by medical researchers illustrates how the battle against malaria is far from being over as new challenges crop up.
The Bastar boy recently attended the Darbha community health centre with the history of repeated fever.
His blood sample was examined at the malaria clinic of the National Institute for Research in Tribal Health, Jabalpur - one of the constituent laboratories of the Indian Council of Medical Research - located in the clinic.
"We found four species of Plasmodium parasites - P.falciparum, P.vivax, P.malariae and P.ovale - in his blood. The dominant one was P.falciparum. To the best of our knowledge, this is India's first case of quadruple malaria," NIRTH scientist Praveen K Bharti, a member of the team that analysed the blood sample, told DH.
An examination of 160 blood samples collected in the NIRTH centre, led to the discovery of multiple cases of mixed infection with two or more species. Mixed infections of P. vivax and P. falciparum were the highest (19%), followed by P. falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae (2.5%) mixing up and P. falciparum and P. malariae (1.3%) combination in few samples.
"There was only one case with all 4 species. Such rare cases of malaria are a diagnostic and clinical challenge," the researchers reported in a recent issue of the journal Public Library of Sciences.