Severe Plasmodium vivax malaria complicated with acute respiratory distress syndrome: a case associated with focal autochthonous transmission in Greece

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2014 May;14(5):378-81. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2012.1192. Epub 2014 Apr 18.


In 2011, autochthonous Plasmodium vivax malaria emerged in a focal geographical area in Greece after importation by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent. We report the case of complicated P. vivax malaria in a previously healthy 42-year-old Greek female. The patient presented acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), worsening jaundice, and thrombocytopenia after the administration of antimalarial treatment and despite a decreasing burden of parasitemia. She recovered fully after admission in the intensive care unit and support with mechanical ventilation. We discuss the risks potentially associated with the reappearance of P. vivax malaria in a previously malaria-free area.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Vivax / complications*
  • Malaria, Vivax / diagnosis
  • Malaria, Vivax / drug therapy
  • Malaria, Vivax / transmission
  • Parasitemia
  • Plasmodium vivax / isolation & purification*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult / complications*
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimalarials