High levels of asymptomatic and subpatent Plasmodium falciparum parasite carriage at health facilities in an area of heterogeneous malaria transmission intensity in the Kenyan highlands.

Abstract

In endemic settings, health facility surveys provide a convenient approach to estimating malaria transmission intensity. Typically, testing for malaria at facilities is performed on symptomatic attendees, but asymptomatic infections comprise a considerable proportion of the parasite reservoir. We sampled individuals attending five health facilities in the western Kenyan highlands. Malaria prevalence by rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was 8.6-32.9% in the health facilities. Of all polymerase chain reaction-positive participants, 46.4% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 42.6-50.2%) of participants had infections that were RDT-negative and asymptomatic, and 55.9% of those infections consisted of multiple parasite clones as assessed by merozoite surface protein-2 genotyping. Subpatent infections were more common in individuals reporting the use of non-artemisinin-based antimalarials in the 2 weeks preceding the survey (odds ratio = 2.49, 95% CI = 1.04-5.92) compared with individuals not reporting previous use of antimalarials. We observed a large and genetically complex pool of subpatent parasitemia in the Kenya highlands that must be considered in malaria interventions.

DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0355

8 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@article{Stresman2014HighLO, title={High levels of asymptomatic and subpatent Plasmodium falciparum parasite carriage at health facilities in an area of heterogeneous malaria transmission intensity in the Kenyan highlands.}, author={Gillian H. Stresman and Jennifer C Stevenson and Nnenna Ngwu and Elizabeth Marube and Chrispin O Owaga and Christopher J. Drakeley and Teun Bousema and Jonathan Cox}, journal={The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene}, year={2014}, volume={91 6}, pages={1101-8} }