Monday, April 21, 2014

Plasmodium species that have a dormant liver form (hypnozoites) mnemonic

Hey everyone!

There are 4 Plasmodium species - P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. vivax and P. ovale.

Did you know that P. vivax and P. ovale have a dormant stage (hypnozoites) that can persist in the liver? It can cause relapses by invading the bloodstream weeks, or even years later!

Primaquine is mainly used to treat P. vivax or P. ovale malaria, specifically to clear the dormant liver forms of these parasites (hypnozoites) once the parasite has been eliminated from the bloodstream. This requires a 14 day course of primaquine.

Sometimes examiners like to ask you which species cause relapses when treated with chloroquine only. Here's my memory aid for remembering this tiny piece of information: liVer - viVax & oVale.

That's all!

-IkaN

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