4. Age dependence of the multiplicity of Plasmodium falciparum infections and of other malariological indices in an area of high endemicity

Smith, T. ; Beck, H.-P ; Kitua, A. ; Mwankusye, S. ; Felger, I. ; Fraser-Hurt, N. ; Irion, A. ; Alonso, P. ; Teuscher, T. ; Tanner, M.

In: Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 1999, vol. 93, no. Supplement_1, p. 15-20

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    The relationship between age and various malariological indices in the Kilombero valley of Tanzania were examined by compiling data from 6 different community studies carried out between 1989 and 1996. The rate of acquisition of Plasmodium falciparum infection was highest in children 1-5 years of age, while recovery rates were lowest between the first birthday and early adolescence. As a result, peak prevalence was reached in 3-5 years old children. However, the prevalence of clinical malaria (estimated from the excess risk of axillary temperatures ≥37·5 °C attributable to parasitaemia) was highest in children under one year of age. The peak in multiplicity of infection (identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism of the msp2 locus) occurred in 3-7 years old children. There was a significant correlation between parasite density and multiplicity of infection in infants and young children (1-2 years of age) but not in older individuals