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Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a plasmodium parasite transmitted to humans via Anopheles mosquitos. Labcorp uses the “gold standard” testing method recommended by CDC to get you and your patients the right answers.

Malaria is considered a tropical disease and typically has low incidence (2,000 cases annually) in the U.S. According to the CDC , the gold standard diagnostic method is microscopic examination. This is the method Labcorp employs for testing (008182). Additionally, we offer PCR-based testing for determining the patient’s specific plasmodium species.

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In line with CDC recommendations, Labcorp uses Wright stain for the microscopic evaluation. One negative result does not rule out the possibility of parasitic infestation. If protozoal, filarial, or trypanosomal infection is strongly suspected, testing should be performed at least three times with samples obtained at different times in the fever cycle.

Proper therapy depends on identification of the specific variety of malaria parasite, which can be achieved with a PCR test.

Plasmodium is a reportable disease and Labcorp is required to notify public health agencies of positive results.