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Detection of foci of residual malaria transmission through reactive case detection in Ethiopia.

  • Author(s): Zemene, Endalew
  • Koepfli, Cristian
  • Tiruneh, Abebaw
  • Yeshiwondim, Asnakew K
  • Seyoum, Dinberu
  • Lee, Ming-Chieh
  • Yan, Guiyun
  • Yewhalaw, Delenasaw
  • et al.

BACKGROUND:Sub-microscopic and asymptomatic infections could be bottlenecks to malaria elimination efforts in Ethiopia. This study determined the prevalence of malaria, and individual and household-level factors associated with Plasmodium infections obtained following detection of index cases in health facilities in Jimma Zone. METHODS:Index malaria cases were passively detected and tracked in health facilities from June to November 2016. Moreover, family members of the index houses and neighbours located within approximately 200 m from the index houses were also screened for malaria. RESULTS:A total of 39 index cases initiated the reactive case detection of 726 individuals in 116 households. Overall, the prevalence of malaria using microscopy and PCR was 4.0% and 8.96%, respectively. Seventeen (43.6%) of the index cases were from Doyo Yaya kebele, where parasite prevalence was higher. The majority of the malaria cases (90.74%) were asymptomatic. Fever (AOR = 12.68, 95% CI 3.34-48.18) and history of malaria in the preceding 1 year (AOR = 3.62, 95% CI 1.77-7.38) were significant individual-level factors associated with detection of Plasmodium infection. Moreover, living in index house (AOR = 2.22, 95% CI 1.16-4.27), house with eave (AOR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.14-4.55), area of residence (AOR = 6.81, 95% CI 2.49-18.63) and family size (AOR = 3.35, 95% CI 1.53-7.33) were main household-level predictors for residual malaria transmission. CONCLUSION:The number of index cases per kebele may enhance RACD efforts to detect additional malaria cases in low transmission settings. Asymptomatic and sub-microscopic infections were high in the study area, which need new or improved surveillance tools for malaria elimination efforts.

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