Article

Asymptomatic Plasmodium parasitemia and the ecology of malaria transmission.

The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene (Impact Factor: 2.53). 07/2002; 66(6):639-40.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Asymptomatic infection by Plasmodium spp. could help explain the dynamics of malaria transmission in low-transmission regions. We therefore compared the prevalence of asymptomatic infection by Plasmodium spp. in two Colombian locations, Tierralta and Tumaco, with different transmission patterns, different ecological and epidemiological characteristics and potentially different associated factors. METHOD: Two cross-sectional studies were carried out between September 2006 and November 2007. Infection by Plasmodium spp. was determined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and microscopy. RESULTS: Prevalence of asymptomatic infection at day 0 in Tierralta was 11.3% (95% CI 7.2-16.8) by microscopy and 16.5% (95% CI 11.5-22.9) by PCR, while in Tumaco, values were 2.4% (95% CI 0.7-5.5) and 5.8% (95% CI 2.3-9.2) respectively. General prevalence of asymptomatic plasmodium infection after 28 days of follow-up was 5% (95% CI 3.2-7.7), 6.6% (95% CI 3.8-10.6%) in Tierralta and 3.4% (95% CI 1.5-6.6%) in Tumaco. Plasmodium vivax was predominant in Tierralta, P. falciparum in Tumaco. The main associated factors were male sex (aOR 2.5; 95% CI 1.0-6.7) and two to five previous malaria episodes (aOR 3.0; 95% CI 1.0-9.4). PCR detected 61% more infections than microscopy. CONCLUSION: Measurement of the prevalence of asymptomatic Plasmodium spp. infection is suggested as part of the epidemiologic evaluation of malaria in low-transmission areas such as Colombia.
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    ABSTRACT: Malaria continues to be a major public health concern all over the world even after effective control policies have been employed, and considerable understanding of the disease biology have been attained, from both the experimental and modelling perspective. Interactions between different general and local processes, such as dependence on age and immunity of the human host, variations of temperature and rainfall in tropical and sub-tropical areas, and continued presence of asymptomatic infections, regulate the host-vector interactions, and are responsible for the continuing disease prevalence pattern.In this paper, a general mathematical model of malaria transmission is developed considering short and long-term age-dependent immunity of human host and its interaction with pathogen-infected mosquito vector. The model is studied analytically and numerically to understand the role of different parameters related to mosquitoes and humans. To validate the model with a disease prevalence pattern in a particular region, real epidemiological data from the north-eastern part of India was used, and the effect of seasonal variation in mosquito density was modelled based on local climactic data. The model developed based on general features of host-vector interactions, and modified simply incorporating local environmental factors with minimal changes, can successfully explain the disease transmission process in the region. This provides a general approach toward modelling malaria that can be adapted to control future outbreaks of malaria.
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