Malaria is a parasitic infection caused by Plasmodium species and it is especially seen in tropical and subtropical areas. Our aim was to determine whether or not malaria is transmitted by blood transfusion in Turkey and to define the rate and the differences between endemic and non-endemic areas. During this study, blood samples were taken from donors who applied to Blood Banks in Istanbul (non-endemic area) and in Adana (endemic area). 2229 donors were screened using the OptilMAL Rapid Malaria Test and Giemsa staining method. Neither the OptiMAL Rapid Malaria Test nor the gold standard Giemsa staining method detected infected erythrocytes and Plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.