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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2000 Sep-Oct;94(5):472-6.

Estimates of the infectious reservoir of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in The Gambia and in Tanzania.

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MRC Laboratories, PO Box 273 Fajara, The Gambia.


Separate studies carried out in Farafenni, The Gambia and Ifakara, Tanzania in 1990-94 provided comparative data on population age structure, population gametocyte prevalences and gametocyte carrier infectivity. The percentage of the population estimated to be infective to mosquitoes was 5.5% and 3.8% in The Gambia and Tanzania, respectively. The age groups 1-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-19 years and 20 years or more comprised 17.5%, 21.7%, 22.2% and 37.9%, respectively, of the infectious population in The Gambia; the corresponding figures for Tanzania were 30.9%, 25.2%, 15.7% and 28.1%. These figures are in broad agreement with those from other published studies which estimated the infectious reservoir directly and suggest that adults contribute significantly to the infectious reservoir of malaria, particularly in areas of intense seasonal transmission. Control measures aimed at reduction of transmission may have only a limited effect in areas of moderate seasonal transmission if directed only at children.

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