Malaria in an asylum seeker paediatric liver transplant recipient: Diagnostic challenges for migrant population

Serena Vita, Simona Gabrielli, Lucia Fontanelli Sulekova, Maurizio De Angelis, Francesco Alessandri, Francesco Pugliese, Franco Ruberto, Ornella Spagnolello, Valentina Mazzocato, Luigi Celani, Maurizio Lopalco, Simonetta Mattiucci, Riccardo Bazzardi, Silvia Angeletti, Massimo Ciccozzi, Gabriella d'Ettorre, Giancarlo Ceccarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transplanted patients are particularly exposed to a major risk of infectious diseases due to prolonged immunosuppressive treatment. Over the last decade, the growing migration flows and the transplant tourism have led to increasing infections caused by geographically restricted organisms. Malaria is an unusual event in organ transplant recipients than can be acquired primarily or reactivation following immunosuppression, by transfusion of blood products or through the transplanted organ. We report a rare case of Plasmodium falciparum infection in a liver transplanted two years-old African boy who presented to one Italian Asylum Seeker Center on May 2019. We outlined hereby diagnostic challenges, possible aetiologies of post-transplantation malaria and finally we summarized potential drug interactions between immunosuppressive agents and antimalarials. This report aims to increase the attention to newly arrived migrants, carefully evaluating patients coming from tropical areas and taking into consideration also rare tropical infections not endemic in final destination countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-178
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection in Developing Countries
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Asylum seeker
  • Liver transplantation
  • Malaria
  • Post-transplant infections
  • Recipient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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