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Test Code LMALP Malaria PCR with Parasitemia Reflex, Varies

Ordering Guidance

1. When monitoring percent parasitemia for patient response to therapy, order MAL / Rapid Malaria/Babesia Smear, Varies (conventional blood film exam) instead of this test.

2. This test is not performed on a STAT basis and, therefore, should not be used as a primary screening test for malaria.

3. This test is used primarily to confirm a presumptive malaria diagnosis and to determine infecting Plasmodium species, particularly when the parasite morphology on traditional blood films is suboptimal.

4. Clients in the Rochester, MN area who are seeking a primary test for malaria and who can deliver the specimen within 4 hours of collection should order MAL / Rapid Malaria/Babesia Smear, Varies.

5. Laboratories that are unable to deliver a specimen within 4 hours of collection should perform an initial screen for malaria and other blood parasites in their laboratory prior to sending a specimen to Mayo Clinic Laboratories.

Shipping Instructions

Label all slides and place dry slides in a labeled slide box. Rubber band labeled slide box and labeled EDTA tube together and send to lab refrigerate.

Specimen Required

Both blood and slides are required.


Specimen Type: Blood

Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA)

Specimen Volume: 3 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Invert several times to mix blood.

2. Send whole blood specimen in original tube. Do not aliquot.


Specimen Type: Blood films

Container/Tube: Clean, grease-free slides in plastic slide container

Specimen Volume: 2 Thin blood films and 2 thick blood films

Collection Instructions:

1. 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.

2. Prepare thin blood films as follows:

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

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

 c. Allow to air dry after fixation.

3. 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.

Useful For

Detection of Plasmodium DNA and identification of the infecting species, with reflex percent parasitemia calculated using thin blood films for positive cases


An adjunct to conventional microscopy of Giemsa-stained films


Detection and confirmatory identification of Plasmodium species: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium knowlesi


This test should not be used to screen asymptomatic patients.

Testing Algorithm

If positive, the percent parasitemia will be performed at an additional charge.


For information see Malaria Laboratory Testing Algorithm.

Method Name

Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)/DNA Probe Hybridization

Reporting Name

Malaria PCR with Parasitemia Reflex

Specimen Type


Specimen Minimum Volume

Blood: 1 mL
Slides: See Specimen Required

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Varies Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
  Ambient  7 days

Reject Due To

Gross hemolysis Reject
Gross lipemia Reject

Reference Values


Day(s) Performed

Monday through Sunday

Report Available

Same day/1 to 3 days

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester

Test Classification

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


87207 (if applicable)

LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
LMALP Malaria PCR with Parasitemia Reflex 47260-5


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
37116 Malaria PCR w/ Parasitemia 47260-5

Reflex Tests

Test ID Reporting Name Available Separately Always Performed
MALCT Plasmodium Percent Parasitemia Rflx No No