School‑based screening and treatment may reduce P. falciparum transmission
AuthorCohee, Lauren M.
Coalson, Jenna E.
Seydel, Karl B.
Wilson, Mark L.
Taylor, Terrie E.
Mathanga, Don P.
Laufer, Miriam K.
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AbstractIn areas where malaria remains entrenched, novel transmission-reducing interventions are essential for malaria elimination. We report the impact screening-and-treatment of asymptomatic Malawian schoolchildren (n = 364 in the rainy season and 341 in the dry season) had on gametocyte—the parasite stage responsible for human-to-mosquito transmission—carriage. We used concomitant householdbased surveys to predict the potential reduction in transmission in the surrounding community. Among 253 students with P. falciparum infections at screening, 179 (71%) had infections containing gametocytes detected by Pfs25 qRT-PCR. 84% of gametocyte-containing infections were detected by malaria rapid diagnostic test. While the gametocyte prevalence remained constant in untreated children, treatment with artemether-lumefantrine reduced the gametocyte prevalence (p < 0.0001) from 51.8 to 9.7% and geometric mean gametocyte density (p = 0.008) from 0.52 to 0.05 gametocytes/ microliter. In community surveys, 46% of all gametocyte-containing infections were in school-age children, who comprised only 35% of the population. Based on these estimates six weeks after the intervention, the gametocyte burden in the community could be reduced by 25–55% depending on the season and the measure used to characterize gametocyte carriage. Thus, school-based interventions to treat asymptomatic infections may be a high-yield approach to not only improve the health of schoolchildren, but also decrease malaria transmission.
DescriptionThe article processing charges (APC) for this open access article were partially funded by the Health Sciences and Human Services Library's Open Access Publishing Fund for Early-Career Researchers.
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Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/21051
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