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Microbial Diseases Laboratory

Test Order: Plasmodium species (Malaria) Real-Time PCR

Pre-Approval Required


Supplemental Information or Form

Form LAB 416. Case history, travel history, and submitter’s identification are required information fields.

Performed on Specimens From

Human source

Acceptable Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Blood (EDTA), unfixed thin smears, unfixed thick smears

Minimum Volume Required

0.5 mL (EDTA blood)

Storage & Preservation of Sample/Specimen Prior to Shipping

Store blood at 2 - 8°C; slides at ambient temperature.


Transport EDTA blood with cold packs.  Do not freeze.  

Sample/Specimen Labeling

Test subject to CLIA regulations require two patient identifiers on the specimen container and the test requisition.  Patient name must be on the specimen container; additional acceptable identifiers include submitter’s accession number, patient ID, and date of birth.

Shipping Instructions which Include Specimen Handling Requirements

Ship blood on cold packs; slides at ambient temperature.

Test Methodology


Turnaround Time

48 hours

Interferences & Limitations

The Plasmodium species multiplex PCR assay does not directly detect P. knowlesi.  If P. knowlesi is suspected and the PCR results are “not detected” for all 4 targets, then specimen will be forwarded to CDC for additional testing.

Additional Information

Plasmodium species PCR will be completed at MDL for speciation of P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae.  The specimen may be forwarded to CDC for other blood parasites per request.

MDL Points of Contact

Mycobacterial & Parasitic Diseases Reference Unit 
(510) 412-3924 

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