Test Catalog

Test Id : MAL

Rapid Malaria/Babesia Smear, Varies

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Rapid and accurate detection and species identification of Plasmodium

 

Detection of Babesia, trypanosomes, and some species of microfilariae

Testing Algorithm
Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

See Malaria Laboratory Testing Algorithm in Special Instructions.

Special Instructions
Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Giemsa Stain

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.

Yes

Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Malaria/Babesia Smear

Aliases
Lists additional common names for a test, as an aid in searching

Babesia

Plasmodium

Trypanosomes

Chagas

Testing Algorithm
Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

See Malaria Laboratory Testing Algorithm in Special Instructions.

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing

Varies

Ordering Guidance

Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease and testing for this infection should be performed as rapidly as possible. Therefore, this test should not be used as a primary screening test for malaria, except for clients in the immediate Rochester, Minnesota area when the specimen can be delivered within several hours of collection. Laboratories that are unable to deliver a specimen within this time frame should provide an initial screen for malaria and other blood parasites in their laboratory prior to sending a specimen to Mayo Clinic Laboratories. This test is used for confirmation of a presumptive malaria diagnosis and determination of infecting Plasmodium species and percent parasitemia.

 

If filarial infection is suspected, FIL / Filaria, Blood is recommended since it is more sensitive than the traditional blood smear examination.

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Both blood and slides are required.

 

Specimen Type: Blood

Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA)

Specimen Volume: 1 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Invert several times to mix blood.

2. Do not transfer blood to other containers. Send specimen in original tube.

 

Specimen Type: Blood films

Slides: 2 thin blood films and 2 thick blood films

Container/Tube: Plastic slide container

Collection Instructions:

1. Slides must be clean and grease-free.

2. Blood films should be made from fresh blood using fingerstick or drops of blood from needle following venipuncture. However, EDTA anticoagulated blood is also acceptable.

3. Prepare thin blood films as follows:

a. Prepare 2 thin smears with the mini prep-slide machine. OR

b. Prepare a thin film with a "feathered edge" that is no more than a single cell thick.

c. Allow the film to thoroughly air dry and then fix by briefly immersing in either absolute or 95% methyl alcohol.

d. Allow to air dry after fixation.

4. Prepare thick blood films as follows:

a. Place a large drop of blood (approximately the size of a dime and preferably from a fingerstick) on a slide.

b. Using a corner of a second slide spread the drop in a circular motion while applying firm pressure to literally scratch the blood onto the carrier slide. This technique allows the blood to dry quickly and adhere well to the slide. Use approximately 20 circular sweeps with the second slide. The drop of blood should be about the size of a quarter when finished.

c. Do not fix. Air dry thoroughly (approximately 45 minutes) before placing in transport container.

Special Instructions
Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Forms

If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Microbiology Test Request (T244) with the specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

Blood: 0.5 mL

Slides: See Specimen Required.

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Gross hemolysis Reject
Gross lipemia Reject

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Refrigerated (preferred)
Ambient

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Rapid and accurate detection and species identification of Plasmodium

 

Detection of Babesia, trypanosomes, and some species of microfilariae

Testing Algorithm
Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

See Malaria Laboratory Testing Algorithm in Special Instructions.

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Malaria is a mosquito-transmitted disease caused by apicomplexan parasites in the genus Plasmodium. It is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating 219 million cases and 435,000 malaria-related deaths in 2017. Malaria disproportionately affects individuals living in Africa (90% of cases), with individuals living in southeast Asia and the eastern Mediterranean regions next most affected. Malaria is also encountered outside of endemic regions such as the United States, usually in returning travelers.

 

Malaria is caused primarily by 4 species of the protozoa Plasmodium: P falciparum, P vivax, P malariae, and P ovale. A fifth Plasmodium species, P knowlesi, is a simian parasite that may be an important source of human infection in some regions of Southeast Asia. Differentiating P falciparum and P knowlesi from other species is important since both can cause life-threatening infections. In addition, P falciparum is typically resistant to many commonly used antimalarial agents such as chloroquine.

 

Babesiosis is an emergent zoonosis caused by an intraerythrocytic protozoan in the genus Babesia. Babesia microti is responsible for the vast majority of human cases in the United States, with "hot spots" of disease along the Northeast Coast (eg, Martha's Vineyard, Long Island, and Nantucket) and Midwest states, although the distribution of disease is spreading. In addition, a small number of cases of Babesia duncani and Babesia duncani-like human infection (WA and CA strains) have been reported along Pacific Coast states from Washington to northern California, and Babesia divergens/B divergens-like strains have been isolated from humans in Missouri (MO-1 strain), Kentucky, and Washington. At this time, only Babesia microti is a nationally notifiable disease.

 

Babesia microti shares a tick vector with Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agents of Lyme disease and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), respectively. Recent studies suggest that exposure to Babesia microti is quite common in areas endemic for Lyme disease and anaplasmosis, so it is prudent to consider testing for all 3 diseases concurrently. Less commonly, babesiosis may be acquired through blood transfusion, and therefore the FDA approved testing for this parasite in donor units in 2018.

 

Most patients with babesiosis have a mild illness or are asymptomatic, but some develop a severe illness that may result in death. Patient symptoms may include fever, chills, extreme fatigue, and severe anemia. The most severe cases occur in asplenic individuals and those over 50 years of age. Rare cases of chronic parasitemia, usually in immunocompromised patients, have been described.

 

Microscopy of Giemsa-stained thick and thin blood films is the standard laboratory method for diagnosis and differentiation of Plasmodium and Babesia species. Under optimal conditions, the sensitivity of the thick film microscopy is estimated to be 10 to 30 parasites per microliter of blood. This test can also detect trypanosomes that cause Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi) and African sleeping sickness (T brucei), as well as some species of filariae. If filarial infection is suspected, FIL / Filaria, Blood is recommended since it is more sensitive than the traditional blood smear examination.

 

Examination of the thin film allows for calculation of malaria percent parasitemia, which can be used to predict prognosis and monitor response to treatment for patients with malaria and babesiosis. The percentage parasitemia represents the percentage of infected red blood cells. This is calculated from representative microscopic fields on the thin blood film. Malarial gametocytes are not included in the calculation since they are not infectious to humans and are not killed by most antimalaria drugs.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Negative

If positive, organism identified and percent parasitemia calculated, if applicable.

Interpretation
Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

A positive smear indicates infection with the identified species of Plasmodium or with Babesia.

 

Species identification can indicate the appropriate antimalarial therapy.

Cautions
Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

For most sensitive detection of Plasmodium, thick smears must be examined.

 

Any exam that does not include a thick smear cannot be considered adequate.

 

Since the degree of parasitemia may change rapidly due to natural parasite replication and administration of antimalarial therapies, it is most useful to calculate the percentage of infected cells immediately after the blood is drawn and malaria parasites are detected. A percent parasitemia that is calculated more than 8 hours after the blood is drawn will not accurately reflect the patient's current state of parasitemia.

 

Calculation of the percent parasitemia may not be possible or may be inaccurate if malaria parasites have degraded or have altered morphology due to age of the specimen or suboptimal transportation conditions.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

Mathison BA, Pritt BS: Update on Malaria Diagnostics and Test Utilization. J Clin Microbiol 2017 Jul;55(7):2009-2017

Special Instructions
Library of PDFs including pertinent information and forms related to the test

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

The thin blood film is fixed in methyl alcohol and stained with a Giemsa stain. The thick films are not fixed and are directly stained with Giemsa stain. The thick films are used for screening. When the thick film is positive, the thin films are used for species identification and the determination of the percent of infected red blood cells. The percentage of infected cells (percent parasitemia) is calculated by counting the number of infected red blood cells among 3,000 to 100,000 red blood cells on the thin blood film. The result is expressed as a percentage (% parasitemia = number of infected red blood cells/total number of red blood cells counted x 100).(Unpublished Mayo method)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information

No

Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Sunday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

1 to 2 days

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

Until reported

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test

Rochester

Fees
Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their Regional Manager. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test has been cleared, approved, or is exempt by the US Food and Drug Administration and is used per manufacturer's instructions. Performance characteristics were verified by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.

87207

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports