Journal Article

Uncommon Asymptomatic <i>Plasmodium falciparum</i> Infections in Gabonese Children

Michel A. Missinou, Bertrand Lell and Peter G. Kremsner

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 36, issue 9, pages 1198-1202
Published in print May 2003 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2003 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/374555
Uncommon Asymptomatic Plasmodium falciparum Infections in Gabonese Children

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To assess the frequency of asymptomatic plasmodial infections in young children living in an area of hyperendemicity, a cohort of 200 children in Gabon was investigated longitudinally. Of 660 cases of Plasmodium falciparum infection, 77% were symptomatic at the time they were identified and only 7% were preceded by an asymptomatic phase of >4 days. Sickle cell trait, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and mutation in the promoter region of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-376A/-238A) were significantly associated with asymptomatic P. falciparum infection (P = .03, P = .009, and P < .001, respectively). We conclude that true asymptomatic cases of P. falciparum infection are uncommon in young children and that single measurements or measurements made at long time intervals will lead to a strong underestimation of the incidence of malaria.

Journal Article.  2912 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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