Volume 91, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Although malnutrition and malaria co-occur among individuals and populations globally, effects of nutritional status on risk for parasitemia and clinical illness remain poorly understood. We investigated associations between infection, nutrition, and food security in a cross-sectional survey of 365 Batwa pygmies in Kanungu District, Uganda in January of 2013. We identified 4.1% parasite prevalence among individuals over 5 years old. Severe food insecurity was associated with increased risk for positive rapid immunochromatographic test outcome (adjusted relative risk [ARR] = 13.09; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 2.23–76.79). High age/sex-adjusted mid-upper arm circumference was associated with decreased risk for positive test among individuals who were not severely food-insecure (ARR = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.19–0.69). Within Batwa pygmy communities, where malnutrition and food insecurity are common, individuals who are particularly undernourished or severely food-insecure may have elevated risk for parasitemia. This finding may motivate integrated control of malaria and malnutrition in low-transmission settings.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 13 Jul 2013
  • Accepted : 24 Feb 2014

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