Clinical management of imported malaria in Italy: results from a national cross-sectional survey in 2015

New Microbiol. 2020 Jan;43(1):28-33. Epub 2020 Mar 1.


In Italy, malaria continues to be one of the most common imported parasitoses; therefore, continuous surveillance of epidemiological data and clinical management is needed. In 2016, the National Institute for Infectious Diseases 'Lazzaro Spallanzani' in Rome promoted a retrospective questionnaire-based survey to assess the clinical management of imported malaria cases in Italy in 2015. The questionnaire was sent to 104 Tropical and/or Infectious Diseases Units in the country, and 37 of them filled out and returned the questionnaires. A total of 399 malaria cases were reported in 2015, mostly caused by Plasmodium falciparum and imported from Africa. Malaria chemoprophylaxis was correctly used by a minority of patients. Most patients presented with uncomplicated malaria and were treated orally. In severe cases, intravenous artesunate or quinine alone or in combination were administered, although one third of these severe cases received oral treatment. This retrospective survey reveals a lack of homogeneity in management of malaria-imported cases in Italy. Improvement of malaria chemoprophylaxis, standardization of clinical management of malaria cases and harmonization of oral and intravenous drug availability are needed throughout the country.

Keywords: Clinical Management; Imported Malaria; Italian National Survey; Plasmodium falciparum.

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials* / therapeutic use
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Malaria* / drug therapy
  • Malaria* / prevention & control
  • Plasmodium
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Travel*


  • Antimalarials