Potential for School-based Malaria Treatment to Reduce P. falciparum Transmission
AdvisorLaufer, Miriam K.
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AbstractSchool-age children bear an under-appreciated burden of malaria and are a key reservoir for the spread of P. falciparum. We conducted school-based cohort studies to measure the impact of treating students with positive malaria rapid diagnostic tests on subsequent gametocyte, the parasite stage required for human-to-mosquito transmission, prevalence and density. We concomitantly quantified the proportion of gametocyte burden in school-age children and compared it to that of other age groups in household-based surveys in the school catchment area. Treatment reduced the prevalence and density of gametocytes by 79% and 89%, respectively. Half of all gametocyte-containing infections were detected in school-age children. We estimated that school-based malaria treatment could reduce overall gametocyte prevalence in the community by 26% and 34% in the rainy and dry seasons, respectively. These results suggest that school-based malaria treatment could further decrease the burden of malaria in areas where malaria has remained entrenched despite current control measures.
Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine
University of Maryland, Baltimore
school age children