Epidemiological and clinical aspects of blackwater fever among African children suffering frequent malaria attacks

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2003 Mar-Apr;97(2):193-7. doi: 10.1016/s0035-9203(03)90116-7.


Blackwater fever (BWF), one of the commonest causes of death of Europeans living in Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century, but rarely diagnosed since the 1950s, is related to Plasmodium falciparum malaria but there is considerable debate and controversy about its aetiology. From 1990 to 2000, the whole population of Dielmo, a village in Senegal, was involved in a prospective study of malaria. Three cases of BWF occurred in 3 children aged 4, 7 and 10 years, belonging to a subgroup of children who suffered malaria attacks every 4 to 6 weeks over many years, who had received repeated quinine treatment. The spread of chloroquine resistance, by increasing the use of more toxic alternative drugs, may expose endemic populations to a high incidence of severe side effects of antimalarials.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Blackwater Fever / complications*
  • Blackwater Fever / drug therapy
  • Blackwater Fever / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / complications*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy
  • Malaria, Falciparum / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Parasitemia / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Senegal / epidemiology


  • Antimalarials