Parasitemia characteristics of Plasmodium vivax malaria in temperate regions may differ from those in tropical zones. However, most parasitological and clinical features of P. vivax malaria have been investigated in the latter. In this study, we investigated 383 malaria patients to clarify the parasitemia characteristics of a P. vivax strain in the Republic of Korea (ROK). The mean parasitemia (8,396/µL) was less than half of tropical P. vivax malaria, and multiple invasions of erythrocytes were not rare (53.5% of the patients, 2.4% of the total investigated RBCs), but less than the observations in tropical zones. The intervals between the first symptom onset and diagnosis were significantly longer in gametocyte (+) patients than in gametocyte (-) patients. Only half of the total patients had both genders of gametocytes (191 of 353), and the male gametocyte density (169/µL) was lower than that of P. vivax strains of a previous study. Multiple invasions of erythrocytes and gametocytemia were coincident factors of the degree of anemia in P. vivax malaria. The present findings demonstrate the P. vivax strain in ROK reveals relatively low parasitemia and low male to female gametocyte ratio. The low ratio may be related with low transmission efficacy.
Keywords: Gametocyte; Mean Parasitemia; Multiplicity; Parasitemia Characteristics; Plasmodium vivax; Republic of Korea.