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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

versión impresa ISSN 1130-0108

Rev. esp. enferm. dig. vol.101 no.4 Madrid abr. 2009




Malaria due to liver transplantation: summary of reports

Malaria causada por trasplante de hígado: resumen de casos




Key words: Malaria. Transplantation. Liver.



Dear Editor,

Malaria is an important blood infection due to Plasmodium spp. parasite. It is an important public health problem. In addition to vector transmission, there are also other modes of transmission for malaria. This also includes malaria due to transplantation. Indeed, there are several possible etiologies of post transplantation malaria such as blood transfusion or new infection. However, the actual direct malaria due to transplantation is confirmed (1). This mode of transmission has just been confirmed in this decade (1). Presently, it is accepted that transplantation can be the possible mode of malarial transmission. Of several solid organ transmission, liver transmission is usually mentioned for the transmission of malaria. In this report, the author tried to summarize the previous reports on malaria due to liver transplantation. This work is designed as a retrospective literature review. The author used the search engines, PubMed and Scopus on malaria due to liver transplantation. The key words for searching are "malaria", "transplantation" and "liver". Derived literatures that described the malaria due to liver transplantation were included for further analysis. Exclusion was set for any literatures that were lack of English text or lack of details. Of interest, from literature search, there are 4 reports on cases of malaria due to liver transplantation (1-5). According to these reports, there are 10 cases of transfused malaria. Plasmodium falciparum were documented in all cases. All cases presented with high fever and abnormal liver function test. The average incubation period was within 2 months after transplantation. Indeed, the occulted liver stage of the malaria is believed to the rooted cause of post transplantation malaria in orthotopic liver transplantation. Of interest, liver transplantation is the final choice for treatment of many end stage liver disease. One of many important complications of liver transplantation is the malaria transmission. This report might reflect the necessity for screening for malaria before transplantation.


V. Wiwanitkit

Wiwanitkit House. Bangkhae, Bangkok. Thailand



1. Chitche L, Lesage A, Duhamel C, Salame E, Malet M, Samba D, et al. Posttransplant malaria: first case of transmission of Plasmodium falciparum from a white multiorgan donor to four recipients. Transplantation 2003; 75(1): 166-8.        [ Links ]

2. Pandey D, Lee KH, Wong SY, Tan KC. Malaria after living donor liver transplantation: report of two cases. Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 2008; 7(2): 210-3.        [ Links ]

3. Mejia GA, Alvarez CA, Pulido HH, Ramírez B, Cardozo C, Suárez Y, et al. Malaria in a liver transplant recipient: a case report. Transplant Proc 2006; 38(9): 3132-4.        [ Links ]

4. Menichetti F, Bindi ML, Tascini C, Urbani L, Biancofiore G, Doria R, et al. Fever, mental impairment, acute anemia, and renal failure in patient undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation: posttransplantation malaria. Liver Transpl 2006; 12(4): 674-6.        [ Links ]

5. Morosan S, Hez-Deroubaix S, Lunel F, Renia L, Giannini C, Van Rooijen N, et al. Liver-stage development of Plasmodium falciparum, in a humanized mouse model. J Infect Dis 2006; 193(7): 996-1004.        [ Links ]

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