Edorium Journal of

Epidemiology

 
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Original Article
 
Prevalence of asymptomatic malaria in selected communities in Benue state, North Central Nigeria: A silent threat to the national elimination goal
Celina Aju-Ameh1, Samuel Awolola2, Georgina Mwansat3, Hayward Mafuyai4
1Onyawoibi MSc, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
2aiwo PhD, Head of Department, Molecular Entomology and Vector Control Research Laboratory, Public Health Division Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria
3Samuel Professor, The Dean, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
4Babale Professor, Vice-Chancellor Presently Academician-Harvard Takemi Fellow in International Health 2016-2017, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Article ID: 100003E06CA2017
doi:10.5348/E06-2017-3-OA-1

Address correspondence to:
Celina Onyawoibi Aju-Ameh
P.O. Box, 53117, Falomo Post Office, Ikoyi Lagos, Nigeria
West Africa No.1 Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi Road, Ilasan Lekki
Eti-Osa Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria

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How to cite this article
Aju-Ameh C, Awolola S, Mwansat G, Mafuyai H. Prevalence of asymptomatic malaria in selected communities in Benue state, North Central Nigeria: A silent threat to the national elimination goal. Edorium J Epidemiol 2017;3:1–7.


ABSTRACT

Aims: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of asymptomatic malaria in six of our study communities. A cross sectional survey of 272 apparently healthy symptomless children and adults age 18 months to 55 and above were included in the survey. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), conventional microscopic examination of blood stained films as well as the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based technique were used to detect the presence of malaria parasites.Subjects who tested positive were given age appropriate course of artemether/lumefantrine (Combiart) free of charge.
Methods: Venous blood was collected in specimen tubes with ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid (Edta) tubes and used for RDT, microscopy and PCR test. Polymerase chain reaction diagnosis was carried out using dry blood spot (DBS) on Whatman filter paper (GE Healthcare, UK, Grade 3 MM CHR CAT No: 3030–861). Results: The prevalence of asymptomatic malaria recorded for rural ranged between 24.9 and 40.1%; urban was 8.8%. There was a significant (p = 00.3 RDT, p = 0.001 microscopy) difference in asymptomatic malaria prevalence between rural and urban malaria as well as with age (p = 0.02).
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that absence of clinical symptoms and the frank disease does not equate absence of malaria. A community is still at risk of malaria because asymptomatic infections contribute to maintaining transmission of the pathogen. In scaling up to both national and international target, a multifaceted control intervention which should include targeting the parasite reservoir will be needed to actualize the elimination goal in both high and low transmission areas.

Keywords: Asymptomatic carriers, Elimination, Malaria, Prevalence

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Acknowledgements
Dr. Kola Oyebola is appreciated here for his guidance and assistance all through the laboratory protocols. Mr. Daniel Manji from the university of Jos teaching hospital who helped with slide validation is also sincerely appreciated.
We thank anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions on earlier versions. MAPs Project Benue Office and Society for Family Health are here acknowledged for donating some of the RDT kits used in this survey.

Author Contributions
Celina Aju-Ameh – Substantial contribution to concept and design, Acquisition of data, Group 2: Drafting article, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Samuel Awolola – Substantial contribution to concept and design, Acquisition of data, Drafting article, Final approval of the version to be published
Georgina Mwansat – Substantial contribution to concept and design, Acquisition of data, Drafting article, Final approval of the version to be published
Hayward Mafuyai – Substantial contribution to concept and design, Acquisition of data, Drafting article, Final approval of the version to be published
Guarantor of submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
None
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
Copyright
© 2017 Celina Aju-Ameh et al. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.



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