I contracted P. Malariae while on a Humanitarian trip in El Salvador in 1996, despite taking the Doxycycline prophylaxis. The diagnosis was difficult, as my fever never broke 100 deg F. A sample of my blood was eventually sent to the CDC to confirm the suspicions of my Dr, who just couldn’t prove the dx by smear. The titer came back positive 1. Now to my question. Have you come across any cases of post-malarial auto-immune disorders or cluster-type syndromes?
About a year and a half. After my initial infection, I developed severe hand joint pain that progressed to much of the rest of my body. At the time, RNP/anti-RNP tests were positive, with elevated sed rates, but negative ANA & RF tests. Now those tests are all “wnl,” but I have some form of “agressive osteoarthritis,” DDD, Spinal stenosis/osteophytes/spinalolisthesis w/nerve damage, and the catch all “Fibromyalgia” along with it’s cluster symptoms.
I would be so very, very grateful if you could point me in the right direction of a study, more information, a Dr who has experience with tropical diseases, or any other information that might net me some answers. I am so tired of being tired and in pain. I shouldn’t need knee replacements and 2 discectomies with a double lumbar fusion at 44. Sadly, I’ve already had one in my neck & may need more. I feel like my life was stolen by a mosquito—the deadliest creature on Earth.
I do not believe there is any relationship between the malaria and these symptoms or with any autoimmune diseases. Although it sounds like your P. malariae infection was a bit difficult to diagnose it is very easy to treat. There is no known drug resistance and so any of the recommended treatment courses should have cured you of the infection. If you subsequently developed an autoimmune disease, it is most likely just a coincidence. Untreated P. malariae infections can become chronic and result in late complications such as renal failure but that is not the case here.