Donor-derived Plasmodium vivax infection following volunteer unrelated bone marrow transplantation

Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Feb;21(3):313-4. doi: 10.1038/sj.bmt.1701073.


A 14-year-old girl from the UK underwent volunteer unrelated donor bone marrow transplant (VUD BMT) for accelerated phase chronic myeloid leukaemia. On day +40 she became febrile, and peripheral blood smears demonstrated a 1% Plasmodium vivax parasitaemia. Although she had never been outside the UK, her male donor had documented Plasmodium vivax infection during a vacation in Papua New Guinea. Following appropriate treatment, he had been asymptomatic for 11 months before marrow harvesting. This is the first case report of malarial transmission by VUD BMT, and illustrates the potential problem of recrudescence of latent, dormant forms of Plasmodium vivax infection following transplantation into an immuno-compromised recipient. Even after appropriate therapy, malarial infection should be included in the differential diagnosis for all post-transplant febrile episodes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Vivax / etiology*
  • Male