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Peripheral Smear for Malaria

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Overview Brief

Peripheral blood smear study is considered the gold standard for diagnosis of malaria caused by the Plasmodium parasite transmitted from female Anopheles mosquitoes.

What Is Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria?

A peripheral blood smear is a reliable test in detecting malaria and it’s an effective diagnosis.

A patient’s blood sample is applied to and spread onto a slide in a smear test. It is stained with Giemsa and fixed onto a microscope. The slide is observed for malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium and identify its species if possible.

A thick or thin blood smear slide may be prepared based on the case requirement.  

Why Is Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria Suggested?

A peripheral smear blood test is suggested because:

  • It is a reliable method to detect malaria.
  • It can help identify the Plasmodium species causing malaria.
  • It is relatively expensive.

How Is Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria Performed?

Peripheral smear test for malaria is performed as follows:

  • Patient’s finger is pricked for a blood sample.
  • The blood sample is smeared onto a slide and prepared.
  • It is observed under a microscope to identify the presence and density of Plasmodium.

Based on requirements a thick or thin smear may be prepared.

What Are The Parameters Measured In Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria?

When a thick blood smear is prepared, it is mostly used for detecting the presence of malaria parasites whereas a thin film can establish the species of malaria-causing the infection.      

Preparation Before Performing Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria

No preparation is necessary before a blood smear test.

Post-Care After Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria

No post-care is required for a peripheral blood smear test.

Sample Types In Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria

Either of the two sample types are used in a peripheral smear test for malaria:

  • Thick smear.
  • Thin smear.

Side Effects/Risks Of Peripheral Smear Test For Malaria

There is little risk involved in collecting blood samples for a malaria smear test.

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