Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Prevalence of Asymptomatic Malaria Infections in the Rural Dzanga Sangha Region, Central African Republic, 2020

Version 1 : Received: 6 December 2020 / Approved: 8 December 2020 / Online: 8 December 2020 (09:40:22 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Korzeniewski, K.; Bylicka-Szczepanowska, E.; Lass, A. Prevalence of Asymptomatic Malaria Infections in Seemingly Healthy Children, the Rural Dzanga Sangha Region, Central African Republic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 814. Korzeniewski, K.; Bylicka-Szczepanowska, E.; Lass, A. Prevalence of Asymptomatic Malaria Infections in Seemingly Healthy Children, the Rural Dzanga Sangha Region, Central African Republic. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 814.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 814
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18020814

Abstract

According to the World Health Organization 94% of global malaria cases and 94% of global malaria deaths have been reported from Africa. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine the exact prevalence of disease in some African countries due to a large number of asymptomatic cases. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of malaria infections in seemingly healthy children living in the Central African Republic (CAR). CareStartTM Malaria HRP2 Pf Ag RDT targeting Plasmodium falciparum was used to test a group of 500 asymptomatic children aged 1-15 years old (330 settled Bantu and 170 semi-nomadic BaAka Pygmies) inhabiting the villages in the Dzanga Sangha region (south-west CAR) in March 2020. 32.4% of asymptomatic Bantu and 40.6% of asymptomatic Pygmy children had a positive result of malaria RDT. The mean age of the study participants with RDT (+) was 8.7 in Bantu and 7.0 years in Pygmies; the mean body temperature was 36.8oC in both groups; the mean haemoglobin level was 10.6 g/dL and 10.1 g/dL, respectively. Our findings allowed us to demonstrate the high prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infections in south-west CAR. RDTs seem to be a useful tool for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum in areas with limited possibilities of using other diagnostic methods, such as light microscopy and molecular biology.

Keywords

asymptomatic malaria; Plasmodium falciparum; Dzanga Sangha; Central African Republic

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