This paper investigates automated detection and identification of malaria parasites in images of Giemsastained thin blood film specimens, The Giemsa stain highlights not only the malaria parasites but also the white blood cells, platelets, and artefacts. We propose a complete framework to extract these stained structures, determine whether they are parasites, and identify the infecting species and life-cycle stages. We investigate species and life-cycle-stage identification as multi-class classification problems in which we compare three different classification schemes and empirically show that the detection. species, and life-cycle-stage tasks can be performed in a joint classification as well as an extension to binary detection. The proposed binary parasite detector can operate at 0.1% parasitemia without any false detections and with less than 10 false detections at levels as low as 0.01%. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.