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Test Code BLOD0851 Malaria Smear

Useful For

  • Detection of blood parasites:  Plasmodium, Babesia, trypanosomes, and some species of microfilariae
  • The species identification and % parasitemia of Plasmodium when present


Wright Stain

Performing Laboratory

Bozeman Health Laboratory Services

Specimen Requirements

Blood smear and EDTA whole blood are required.


Specimen Type: Blood smear
Container/Tube: Slide

Specimen Volume: 1 slide

Collection Instructions:

1. Submit 1 well-prepared, thin blood smear on clean, grease-free slide.

2. Prepare with a “feathered edge.” Smear should be no more than a single cell thick.

3. Do not fix. Allow smear to thoroughly air dry.

4. Label slide with patient’s full name (first and last) and date and time of collection.

5. Place slide in plastic slide holder.


Specimen Type: Whole blood

Container/Tube: Lavender top (EDTA)

Specimen Volume: Full tube

Collection Instructions: Send EDTA whole blood in original tube.  Specimen must arrive within 6 hours.

Additional Infomation

  • Thick and thin smears should be made as soon as possible.  If the smears are prepared from anticoagulated blood that is more than 1 hour old, the morphology of both parasites and infected RBC's may not be typical.  

Specimen Transport Temperature


Specimen Stability


Specimen Type Temperature Time
Whole blood (EDTA) Ambient 6 hours
Prepared slides Ambient 24 hours


Reference Values

No organisms seen


Critical value (automatic call-back): Plasmodium sp., P. Falciparum, P. Malariae, P. Ovale, P. Vivax, or Other


% Parasitemia will be reported if Plasmodium sp. or Babesia sp. are reported.

Day(s) Test Set Up

Monday through Friday

Test Classification and CPT Coding