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Measuring malaria morbidity in an area of seasonal transmission: Pyrogenic parasitemia thresholds based on a 20-year follow-up study.

Authors
  • Dollat, Marion1, 2
  • Talla, Cheikh1
  • Sokhna, Cheikh3
  • Diene Sarr, Fatoumata1
  • Trape, Jean-François3
  • Richard, Vincent1
  • 1 Unité d'Epidémiologie des Maladies Infectieuses, Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Dakar, Sénégal.
  • 2 Service de Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales, Hôpital Avicenne, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Paris, France. , (France)
  • 3 Laboratoire de Paludologie, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Dakar, Sénégal.
Type
Published Article
Journal
PLoS ONE
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2019
Volume
14
Issue
6
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0217903
PMID: 31246965
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Asymptomatic carriage of P. falciparum is frequent in areas endemic for malaria and individual diagnosis of clinical malaria attacks is still difficult. We investigated the impact of changes in malaria endemicity on the diagnostic criteria for malaria attacks in an area of seasonal malaria transmission. We analyzed the longitudinal data collected over 20 years from a daily survey of all inhabitants of Ndiop, a rural community in central Senegal, in a logistic regression model to investigate the relationship between the level of Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia and the risk of fever, with the aim of determining the best parasitemia thresholds for attributing to malaria a fever episode. A total of 34,136 observations recorded from July 1993 to December 2013 from 850 individuals aged from 1 day to 87 years were included. P. falciparum asymptomatic carriage declined from 36% to 1% between 1993 and 2013. A total of 9,819 fever episodes were associated with a positive blood film for P. falciparum. Using age-dependent parasitemia thresholds for attributing to malaria a fever episode, we recorded 6,006 malaria attacks during the study period. Parasitemia thresholds seemed to be lower during the low-to-zero transmission season and tended to decrease with changes in control policies. The number of clinical malaria attacks was overestimated for all age groups throughout the study when all fever episodes associated with P. falciparum parasitemia were defined as malaria attacks. Pyrogenic thresholds are particularly sensitive to changes in malaria epidemiology and are therefore an interesting tool to accurately assess the burden of malaria in the context of declining transmission.

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