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Serial Nosocomial Transmission of Plasmodium falciparum Malaria From Patient to Nurse to Patient

  • Richard L. Alweis (a1), Kerrie DiRosario (a2), Giuseppe Conidi (a3), Kevin C. Kain (a4), Richard Olans (a5) and John L. Tully (a6)...
Abstract<span class='bold'>Background:</span>

Nosocomial transmission of malaria is a rare phenomenon in the United States.

<span class='bold'>Objective:</span>

To describe the probable transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria from a patient to a healthcare worker and then from the healthcare worker to another patient.

<span class='bold'>Design:</span>

Case series.

<span class='bold'>Setting:</span>

Two community hospitals in Massachusetts.

<span class='bold'>Intervention:</span>

Routine medical and supportive care.

<span class='bold'>Measurements:</span>

Clinical and laboratory evaluation.

<span class='bold'>Results:</span>

A nurse developed falciparum malaria after a needlestick injury from a patient with documented falciparum malaria. Three days prior to her diagnosis, she cared for another patient, who subsequently developed falciparum malaria. That patient's parasite isolate genetically matched the nurse's isolate by two independent DNA fingerprinting techniques.

<span class='bold'>Conclusion:</span>

After extensive evaluation, we believe that a nurse who had acquired falciparum malaria via needlestick subsequently transmitted malaria to another patient via a break in standard precautions. The implications of this mechanism of transmission are discussed.

Corresponding author
22 Mill Street, Suite 208, Arlington, MA 02476
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
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