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. 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. They found four species of Plasmodium parasites P.falciparum, P.vivax, P.malariae and P.ovale in his blood. The dominant one was P.falciparum. This is India’s first case of quadruple malaria.
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.