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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1990 Jan-Feb;84(1):14-21.

A stable, oligosymptomatic malaria focus in Thailand.

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Department of Entomology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangkok, Thailand.


Blood from most of the 250 residents of a non-migratory farming village in south-eastern Thailand was visually examined for malaria parasites monthly for 2 years. Nearly 97% of the population had at least one (median = 5) patent Plasmodium falciparum infection per year; 72% had one due to P. vivax (median = 1). This contrasted with a slide positivity rate of 17% calculated from 12 months of passive case detection before the study began. Children 1-9 years old had the highest mean monthly prevalence (51%) and highest geometric mean density (10/500 white blood cells) of P. falciparum. Fewer than half the expected number of mixed infections were found but these were more common at high densities of P. falciparum. Individuals over 19 years old comprised 52% of the population but accounted for only 18% of P. vivax and 32% of P. falciparum gametocytaemias. Fever rates were marginally higher in those below 10 years old (8%) but occurred with equal frequency in those with patent infections or negative. The spleen rate (89% stage 1) was 24% in those under 15 years old and 7% in those older. No malaria mortality was seen P. falciparum cases treated for 10 d with quinine+tetracycline (QT) cleared the infection as often as those given one dose of mefloquine+sulfadoxine+pyrimethamine (MSP); both treatments reduced densities in cases not cured. Apparently unsupervised compliance was no better with MSP than with QT. The role played by hyperendemic, cryptic foci in Asian epidemics of malaria may have been underestimated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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