“Creepy, Dreadful, Wonderful Parasites” Nov. 30: A Parasitologist’s View of the World

This week's specimens are Giemsa-stained peripheral blood smears from a young female patient who was recently treated for malaria. What is the material inside of the white blood cells?







Every week, Mayo Clinic microbiologist Bobbi Pritt, M.D., posts a new case, along with the answer to the previous case. Read Dr. Pritt's blog, Parasite Wonders, and submit your answers, comments, and questions.

Dr. Pritt started her blog after she completed her fellowship at Mayo Clinic in clinical microbiology. She attended the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to study parasitology for one year. During that year in England, Dr. Pritt saw some amazing cases, which she shared with her colleagues back at Mayo through her blog. Through word of mouth, people from all walks of life around the globe have become interested in Dr. Pritt’s “case of the week,” and her readership continues to grow.

Note from Dr. Pritt: All opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. Information provided here is for medical education only. It is not intended as, and does not substitute for, medical advice. I do not accept medical consults from patients.


Bobbi Pritt, M.D.

Bobbi Pritt, M.D., is Director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory in Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. Her research interests are in clinical parasitology, vector-borne diseases, trainee education, and appropriate test utilization.



toxic ganulation

Hemozoin (malarial pigment) aggregates inside of white blood cells. This used to just be regarded as waste product (necessary for malaria to get rid of heme, which is toxic to the parasite) but is now thought to correlate with severity of infection, such as in cerebral malaria in children.

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