Ordering Recommendation

Not a first-line test for malaria screening. Refer to Parasites Smear (Giemsa Stain), Blood (0049025) or Malaria, Rapid Screen and Giemsa Stain (2001547) for screening and diagnosing acute disease.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Lavender (EDTA) or pink (K2EDTA).

Specimen Preparation

Transport 1 mL whole blood. (Min: 0.5 mL)

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Heparinized specimens.


Ambient: 24 hours; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: 1 week


Qualitative Polymerase Chain Reaction




1-3 days

Reference Interval

Interpretive Data

This qualitative test is intended only for the species identification of confirmed malaria infections. It is not intended to monitor treatment or to be used on repeat specimens for evaluation of parasitic clearance. A positive result may still be obtained in the absence of visible parasites.

Detection of asymptomatic parasitemia in individuals from malaria-endemic areas is possible. Therefore, this test should only be used in conjunction with patient travel history and symptoms consistent with malaria. Only circulating parasites within the blood will be detected in this assay. Latent phase hypnozoites of Plasmodium ovale and Plasmodium vivax may not be detected.

Mixed infections (eg, multiple Plasmodium spp. present) may not be accurately identified if parasitemia is significantly higher for one of the Plasmodium spp.

This test will not detect other blood-borne parasites such as Babesia spp. and trypanosomes, which may have similar clinical presentation. A negative result on this assay does not rule out the presence of PCR inhibitors in the patient specimen or assay-specific nucleic acid in concentrations below the level of detection by the assay.

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. It has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This test was performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory and is intended for clinical purposes.

Compliance Category

Laboratory Developed Test (LDT)


Hotline History


CPT Codes

87798 x5


Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
2004964 Malaria by PCR, P. falciparum 41447-4
2004966 Malaria by PCR, P. knowlesi 47085-6
2004968 Malaria by PCR, P. vivax 41450-8
2004970 Malaria by PCR, P. malariae 41448-2
2004972 Malaria by PCR, P. ovale 41449-0
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.


  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium knowlesi
  • Plasmodium malariae
  • Plasmodium ovale
  • Plasmodium vivax
Malaria Species Identification by PCR