Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/8752
Prevalence of submicroscopic malaria infection in immigrants living in Spain
Fradejas, Isabel | Rubio Muñoz, Jose Miguel ISCIII | Martín-Díaz, Ariadna | Herrero-Martínez, Juan María | Ruiz-Giardin, José Manuel | Rojo-Marcos, Gerardo | Velasco, María | Calderón-Moreno, María | Azcona-Gutierrez, José Manuel | Merino, Francisco Jesús | Olmo, Belén Andrés | Espinosa, María | Cuadrado, María | González-Monte, Esther | Jaqueti, Jerónimo | Cuadros, Juan | Campelo, Carolina | Delgado-Iribarren, Alberto | Martín-Rabadán, Pablo | García-García, Concepción | Martín-Laso, María Ángeles | Valle-Borrego, Beatriz | García, María Coral | Lizasoaín, Manuel | Pérez-Ayala, Ana
Malar J. 2019 Jul 17;18(1):242.
BACKGROUND: The importance of submicroscopic malaria infections in high-transmission areas could contribute to maintain the parasite cycle. Regarding non-endemic areas, its importance remains barely understood because parasitaemia in these afebrile patients is usually below the detection limits for microscopy, hence molecular techniques are often needed for its diagnosis. In addition to this, the lack of standardized protocols for the screening of submicroscopic malaria in immigrants from endemic areas may underestimate the infection with Plasmodium spp. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of submicroscopic malaria in afebrile immigrants living in a non-endemic area. METHODS: A prospective, observational, multicentre study was conducted. Afebrile immigrants were included, microscopic observation of Giemsa-stained thin and thick blood smears, and two different molecular techniques detecting Plasmodium spp. were performed. Patients with submicroscopic malaria were defined as patients with negative blood smears and detection of DNA of Plasmodium spp. with one or both molecular techniques. Demographic, clinical, analytical and microbiological features were recorded and univariate analysis by subgroups was carried out with STATA v15. RESULTS: A total of 244 afebrile immigrants were included in the study. Of them, 14 had a submicroscopic malaria infection, yielding a prevalence of 5.7% (95% confidence interval 3.45-9.40). In 71.4% of the positive PCR/negative microscopy cases, Plasmodium falciparum alone was the main detected species (10 out of the 14 patients) and in 4 cases (28.6%) Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium ovale were detected. One patient had a mixed infection including three different species. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of submicroscopic malaria in afebrile immigrants was similar to that previously described in Spain. Plasmodium vivax and P. ovale were detected in almost a third of the submicroscopic infections. Screening protocols for afebrile immigrants with molecular techniques could be useful for a proper management of these patients.
Adult | Asymptomatic Diseases | Coinfection | Emigrants and Immigrants | Female | Humans | Malaria | Malaria, Falciparum | Malaria, Vivax | Male | Microscopy | Middle Aged | Plasmodium falciparum | Plasmodium ovale | Plasmodium vivax | Prevalence | Spain
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