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Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 1998;91(4):291-6.

[Malaria in infants in a rural area of maritime Guinea (Guinea Conakry). II. Development of antimalarial antibodies and malaria during the first year of life].

[Article in French]

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Centre national de santé rurale communautaire de Maférinyah, Guinée.


A transversal investigation carried out on 551 children and a longitudinal study of 55 infants showed the disappearance of maternal anti-plasmodium antibodies during the first year of life. Out of 212 new-borns surveyed for one year, 59 (28%) were infested by Plasmodium, but never during the first two months of life. This infestation was not related to the age of the infant nor to the season. For 46% of cases, infestation was completely asymptomatic, for 18% of cases respiratory signs were present and for 20% digestive signs not specific to malaria. Fever was present in 14 cases (24%) and isolated in 6 cases. Only 7 infants received a specific antimalarial treatment. Evolution under medical surveillance was favourable in all cases. These findings prove the difficulties inherent to the diagnosis of malaria, especially in the absence of laboratories for diagnosing other infections--such as typhoid--which do not appear in sanitary statistics. The findings also raise the question as to the efficiency of systematic antimalarial treatment in case of fever in the infant or child. Asymptomatic parasitemia can be explained by the existence of antitoxic immunity different from antiplasmodia immunity.

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