Malaria/Babesia Smear
Thick Thin Smears

Giemsa Stain

Testing Laboratory: 
Mayo Medical Laboratories, Rochester, MN

Laboratory Section: 
Referral Testing

Interpretive Data: 
This test should not be used as a primary screening test for malaria. This test is used for confirmation of a presumptive malaria diagnosis and determination of infecting Plasmodium species.

Malaria/Babesia Smear
Container/Tube Type: 
Lavender (EDTA)

Collection Information: 

Collect 3.0 mL of blood in a Lavender (EDTA) tube. Do not transfer blood to other containers. Send specimen in original tube. 

WHOLE BLOOD AND BLOOD FILMS (SLIDES) REQUIRED: See Remarks on preparing slides. Slides are prepared by trained laboratory or nursing staff at the bedside if possible. If not trained, please send lavender tube to laboratory and slides will be made in the lab.

Minimum Sample Volume: 

Blood: 1.0 mL of blood

Slides: 2 thin slides and 2 thick slides


Preparing 2 thin blood films and 2 thick blood films 

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. 

  1. Prepare thin blood films as follows:

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

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

    3. Allow to air dry after fixation.

  2. Prepare thick blood films as follows:

    1. Place a large drop of blood (approximately the size of a dime and preferably from a fingerstick) on a slide.

    2. 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.

    3. Do not fix. Air dry thoroughly (approximately 45 minutes) before placing in transport container.

Refrigerated Stability: 

Ambient Stability: 

Malaria/Babesia Smear
Sunquest Order Code: 

Epic Number: 

Reference Lab Code: 

CPT Code: 

Malaria/Babesia Smear
12/15/2014 9:03:21 AM